Fairground Magician

Jelena Lengold

Translated by Celia Hawkesworth

Istros Books



ISBN: 9781908236104


Publication date: 13 August 2013



The collection Fairground Magician brings together stories about love fulfilled and unfulfilled, about things that are visible in the everyday world and values that are perceptible only at exceptional moments. The narration moves from apparent realism to other genres; from crime fiction or thriller to erotic prose. Memories, intimations and premonitions are infused in these stories with a tranquillity that accepts what fate brings, even when efforts are made to change it, as in the stories Pockets Full of Stones or Nosedive.

Lengold uses eroticism as a natural ingredient of human life, as an integrated tension consisting of two inseparable aspects – body and soul – energising stories like Love Me Tender, Zugzwang, Wanderings, and Aurora Borealis. In Fairground Magician, Lengold is a lucid observer of minute details and subtle emotional shifts. In stories like It Could Have Been Me, Shadow, or Ophelia, Get Thee to a Nunnery, she manages to leap over the wall between the bodily surface and the human interior in a very distinctive way. No matter how common are the situations she depicts – whether it be broken marriages, unfulfilled expectations or the motives of forlorn lovers – Lengold is constantly searching for the authentic, finding it within the sophisticated irony which is a trademark of her fiction.

Jelena Lengold is a storyteller, novelist and poet. She has published five books of poetry, one novel (Baltimore) and four books of short stories, including Rain-soaked Lions, Lift and Fairground Magician, which won her the European Prize for Literature in 2011. Lengold works as a journalist and an editor at Radio Belgrade.