The Masterpiece

Ana Schnabl

Translated by David Limon

Istros Books



ISBN: 9781912545896


Publication date: 15 October 2021



The golden 1980s in the Socialist Yugoslavia were a curious time, a time when the country undoubtedly already began its descent into disintegration, but when the bloody years that would follow still seemed inconceivable. A time of unprecedented freedom of thought and travel; a time of dissident movements and heady music and literary scenes. And yet it was also a time when the state still had a tight grip on the lives of its citizens, not least through its security services and its web of informants.

We enter the story in 1985, and meet Adam, a professor of literature at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana who is trying his hand at writing again. Ana is the editor who receives his manuscript, ‘The Masterpiece’. The protagonists soon cross the lines of their professional relationship and become entangled in an intense, adulterous affair. But Adam moves in dissident circles and Ana owes her position as the youngest editor in the history of the biggest state publishing house to her cooperation with the dark side of the government.