The first part of Slouka's second
novel tells of the narrator's childhood growing up
in post-World War II New York, the son of Antonín
and Ivana Sedlák, Czech immigrants whose marriage is
disintegrating under the weight of Ivana's love for
the man she lost during the war.
In the second part of The Visible World it is 1986, two years after the narrator's mother has killed herself, and the narrator has moved to Prague in the hope of finding out what happened between his parents, and why his mother was unable to put behind herself events that took place forty years ago ("My mother erased herself so thoroughly that for a long time, I couldn't find her anywhere"); but all he finds are hints of fact and dead ends.
Many of us who find...
Mark Slouka is the child of Czech immigrants and draws on his personal experience and the inevitable intrusions of the past on the present. He is the author of the novel God's Fool (2002), named a Best Book of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle, which tells the story of Chang and Eng, the original Siamese twins who toured with P.T. Barnum's circus in the 1830s before settling down to marry two different women and father 22 children. He is also the author of the short story collection Lost Lake, a New York Times Notable Book in 1998; and the nonfiction work War of the Worlds: Cyberspace and the High-Tech Assault on Reality (1995). Three of his essays have been selected for inclusion in The Best American Essays, and his short story "The ...
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