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Kevin Barry: Mesto Bohane | NAGRADA EU ZA KNJIŽEVNOST

Kevin Barry
Mesto Bohane

Translated by Alenka Jovanovski
Pages: 304
Format: 129x198 mm
Paperback
Published by KUD Police Dubove
Year of publication: 2021
Edition: Eho, 26
ISBN 978-961-7020-69-4
ISBN 978-961-7020-74-8 (epub)
Retail price: 24,90 €
Discount price: 19,90 €
E-book price: 12,99 €

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REVIEWS

A futuristic-apocalyptic Western thriller, influenced by cinema, comics, and pop culture. 

The novel City of Bohane takes place in 2053, in the West of Ireland. Its protagonists converse in a mix of regional dialect and invented speech. Somehow Barry manages to combine the impossible: an immensely readable text and an immensely serious linguistic experiment, whose prose is propelled by lively dialogue, disarming black humour, and poetic descriptions of the Irish countryside. Meanwhile, the city of Bohane itself is imbued with a bitterly appealing, sombre charge worthy of Nick Cave himself.

Bohane is the beating heart of creation, surrounded by Big Nothin’ and sand dunes inhabited by the malevolent sand-pikeys. The river Bohane, which runs through the centre of the city, seeps with rotting contagion, inhaled by the denizens of Bohane as they go about their daily lives – drinking, whoring, shooting up, fighting, obsessing over fashion and music. There are no cars in the ecologically devastated Bohane, no mobile phones, no computers; people either walk or ride the El train, listen to the radio, write love letters. 

Conflict arises when one of the local mafia families stabs the member of another, accompanied by the return of the Gant Broderick, the former head of the Back Trace Fancy, who is plagued by romantic nostalgia for the wife of Logan Hartnett, the Back Trace Fancy’s current leader. Bohane finds itself in the midst of a blood feud and a romantic drama while facing certain civilisational collapse. Yet nothing is as it seems. When, in the end, the old gives way to the new, appearances prove to be deceptive. 

This futuristic-apocalyptic Western thriller, in which one can trace the influences of cinema, cult American TV series, comics, and pop culture, as well as the musical stylings of calypso, ska, and skunk, sketches a world beneath the shining surface of global metropoles, but also has much to say about the bonds of fate that accompany the individual from the cradle to the grave. Things couldn’t be bleaker, yet the novel’s black humour, razor-sharp language, and cinematic scenes build into a crescendo – taut and entertaining to the final page. 

Alenka Jovanovski

Irish writer Kevin Barry, born 1969, authored collections of short prose fiction, such as There are Little Kingdoms (2007), Dark lies the Island (2012), That Old Country Music (2020), as well as novels City of Bohane (2011), Beatlebone (2015) and Night Boat to Tangier (2019). He also writes theatre plays and film scripts. 

He received many prestigious literary awards, among others Goldsmih’s Prize (2015), IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (2013), European Union Prize for Literature (2012), Author’s Club Best First Novel Award (2011), Rooney Prize (2007) and Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award (2012). The novel Night Boat to Tangier was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2019.

Alenka Jovanovski (1974) translates from Italian (Cesare Pavese, Italo Calvino, Nelida Milani, Valerio Magrelli, Igiaba Scego, Lina Prosa) and occasionally from English (Margaret Randall, William Blake, Andrea Brady, Kevin Barry). Along with essays about poetry she writes poetry, there are two of her poetry books: Hlače za Džija (Trousers for G., 2012) and Tisoč osemdeset stopinj (Thousand and Eighty Degrees, 2018) that brought her Veronika Poetry Prize 2019. Her poems were published in Polish, in the anthology of twelve poets from Czech Republic, Slovenia and Ukraine (Portrety kobiet w odwróconej perspektywie, 2013), as well as in English, in the anthology Bridge of Voices (2017).    

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Co-funded by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union.

The translation has been supported by Literature Ireland.

 

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