BookBrowse Reviews The Visible World by Mark Slouka

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The Visible World

by Mark Slouka

The Visible World
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2007, 256 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2008, 256 pages

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A moving novel about the vagaries of love and our need to make sense of life through the telling of stories

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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