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a novel by
Translated by Janet Livingstone
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*Winner of the European Union Prize for Literature.
"Beňová is at her best when she's funny, and her sense of humor tends toward the dry and the dark. Fans of inward-looking postmodernists like Clarice Lispector will find much to admire."
—NPR, in a review of Benova's Seeing People Off
Sometimes running away is the bravest option. Or, so believes Rosa, who ditches her husband and home and takes off on the road. Along the way, she encounters the owner of a puppet theater who’s on a mission to conquer the world with his performance of "The Snow Queen."
Which character from this old fairy tale will Rosa identify with? With Gerda, searching fruitlessly for her lost love? With Kai, who flees home and his beloved one day without a word? Or with the Snow Queen, who seems to stand aloof above it all?
With magnetic, sparkling prose, Beňová delivers a lively mosaic that ruminates on human relationships, our greatest fears and desires.
Away! Away! by Jana Beňová (approximately) =
* In most cases, none of these writers endorse this book. Our math formulas are supposed to be amusing anecdotes, similar to shelf-talkers in bookstores that say "If you like X, you might enjoy Y," or "This Book is like Cormac McCarthy writing an episode of Saved by the Bell with a soundtrack by Philip Glass."
"Beňova’s novel riffs on stories old and new, and the means by which we tell and experience them, to bring the reader inside her protagonist’s mind."
—Vol. 1 Brooklyn
"An elegant, postmodern fairy tale."
—Jacob Hoefer, Bookseller, Labyrinth Books
"Jana Beňová’s Away! Away! provides laughs of a slightly more satirical, world-weary sort... No surprise—it’s the journey, not the arrival, that matters, and Rosa’s journey is filled with slings and arrows of outrageous Slovakian fortune."
—Bethanne Patrick, Literary Hub
"All our hand-me-down wants are ways of ignoring the fact that one day we’ll die like dogs. Where will we all go, one day? Away. The gift of Beňová’s novel is the omniscient lurch of her prose (a multi-party stream of consciousness). Away! Away! combines its characters’ voices to form a a choral imploration to the reader: sit down and sympathize with these people who make mistakes because they are so afraid of death, the end of the book. People abandon each other because they’re afraid of being pinned down in an identity: locatable, inanimate. Why begrudge them their selfishness on grounds of its absurdity when what they’re up against is even more absurd than that? (Hint: it’s death.)"
—Michael Mungiello, Cleveland Review of Books
"Short and yet packs a lot of punch... unique."
—Lolly K Dandeneau, Book Stalker Blog
"[Away! Away!] is an interesting tale."
—The Modern Novel blog
"...lineage of Lispector, Lefebvre, and Cixous..."
—Katherine Beaman, Commonplace Review
Praise for Seeing People Off:
"Stunning... [Beňová] has created that unique and uniquely satisfying phenomenon of a page-turner that must yet be read slowly and precisely."
—Bronwyn Averett, Necessary Fiction
"Beňová is at her best when she's funny, and her sense of humor tends toward the dry and the dark. Seeing People Off is a fascinating novel. Fans of inward-looking postmodernists like Clarice Lispector will find much to admire here."
—Michael Schaub, NPR
"The setting of Jana Beňová’s first book in English, translated by Janet Livingstone and published by Two Dollar Radio, is mirrored in how the novel itself is built. The bursts of narration — as short as a few words and rarely longer than a page — are recurring contained units, and they provide a stabilizing uniformity to an otherwise eccentric set of characters and scenes."
—Nathan Scott McNamara, Electric Literature
"These stories explore death and other kinds of leaving in wry, fresh ways. The end of childhood, the end of an affair, the end of sanity—when I arrived at the end of this book, I found myself returning to the beginning. This is a merry-go-round one can hold on to."
—Paige Webb, Kenyon Review
"Beňová tugs at the strings that bind conventional narratives, testing the knots and exposing the weaknesses. In so doing, she reveals that sometimes the point of reading might be to lose the thread."
—Ann Morgan, A Year of Reading the World
"[Beňová] is in the first generation of post-Soviet writers for whom scarcity and censorship is a recent memory, and the political is always lurking just behind the breezy Aimee Bender–like prose."
"Beňová’s short, fast novels are a revolution against normality. Unlike so many others, her novels not only claim to be a revolution but actually achieve this feat through their minimalist narratives that go against all conventions; in fact, Beňová manages to subtly and intelligently poke fun at conventional categorizations."
—Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, ORF
"[Seeing People Off] must be read for a long time. It will be receiving awards, translated and made into a film, it will be put into anthologies. They will declare it as one of the most important works of new Slovak prose."
Jana Beňová is one of the most acclaimed Slovak authors, and winner of the European Union Prize for Literature. She is a poet and novelist, author of the novels Seeing People Off, Away! Away!, Parker, and Honeymoon, as well as three collections of poems. Though her work has been widely translated throughout Europe, Seeing People Off was her first book to be translated to English.
About the Translator
Janet Livingstone was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and ventured to Czechoslovakia just after the 1989 Velvet Revolution. Among her full-length book translations are Master your Stage Fright by Slovak master violinist, Bohdan Warchal and Piata loď (working title: Boat Number Five) by novelist Monika Kompaníková. In addition to Jana Beňová, her current translation projects include the novels The Best of All Worlds by Slovak-Swiss author Irena Brežná and The Arab World—Another Planet? by Emire Khidayer. Janet lives in Seattle with her two children.
Enjoy a sneak peek read of Away! Away! here, on Issuu, and get a serious look inside the book:
LIST PRICE: $14.99
PRINT ISBN: 9781937512736
DIGITAL ISBN: 978-1-937512-74-3
RELEASE DATE: 12/11/2018
SIZE: 5.5" x 7.5"
Printed in Canada by Marquis, with the following environmental statement:
*Inside printed on Enviro 100% post-consumer EcoLogo certified paper, processed chlorine free and manufactured using biogas energy.
*FSC certified paper (inside and cover).