The Invention of Ana: Book summary and reviews of The Invention of Ana by Mikkel Rosengaard

The Invention of Ana

by Mikkel Rosengaard

The Invention of Ana by Mikkel Rosengaard X
The Invention of Ana by Mikkel Rosengaard
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2018
    304 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

A breathtaking debut, brimming with youthful brio and irresistible humor, that chronicles a young man's friendship with a most peculiar artist.

On a rooftop in Brooklyn on a spring night, a young intern and would-be writer, newly arrived from Copenhagen, meets the intriguing Ana Ivan. Clever and funny, with an air of mystery and melancholia, Ana is a performance artist, a mathematician, and a self-proclaimed time traveler. She is also bad luck, she confesses; she is from a cursed Romanian lineage.

Before long, the intern finds himself seduced by Ana's enthralling stories - of her unlucky countrymen; of her parents' romance during the worst years of Nicolae Ceaucescu's dictatorship; of a Daylight Savings switchover gone horribly wrong. Ana also introduces him to her latest artistic endeavor. Following the astronomical rather than the Gregorian calendar, she is trying to alter her sense of time - an experiment that will lead her to live in complete darkness for one month.

Descending into the blackness with Ana, the intern slowly loses touch with his own existence, entangling himself in the lives of Ana, her starry-eyed mother Maria, and her raging math-prodigy father Ciprian. Peeling back the layers of her past, he eventually discovers the perverse tragedy that has haunted Ana's family for decades and shaped her journey from the streets of Bucharest to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco and finally to New York City.

The Invention of Ana blurs the lines between narrative and memory, perception and reality, identity and authenticity. In his stunning debut novel, Mikkel Rosengaard illuminates the profound power of stories to alter the world around us - and the lives of the ones we love.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[Rosengaard] charts the emotional distance between Bucharest under Ceausescu's despotic rule and present-day hipster Brooklyn, resulting in a striking, auspicious debut." - Publishers Weekly

"This strange story about strange stories, told with intelligence and humor, lingers in the mind like a dream." - Kirkus

"Surprising, suspenseful, and deeply affecting, written in prose as elegant and precise as a mathematical proof. A meditation on time, mortality, and politics, and a beautiful and enlarging read, The Invention of Ana made me feel as if my own life had gained a bit of extra time." - Alena Graedon, author of The Word Exchange

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Mikkel Rosengaard's first novel, The Invention of Ana, has been published in five languages. He is a two-time recipient of the Danish Arts Foundation's Literary Fellowship, and his work has appeared in the Architectural Review, PBS's Art21, Hyperallergic, and many other publications. He grew up in Elsinore, Denmark, and lives in New York City.

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