The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Everywhere
- date of publication: 26.08.1996
- 288 Pages
- Hanser Verlag
- ISBN 978-3-446-18770-2
- Deutschland: 19,90 €
- Österreich: 20,50 €
Notorious gambler Bai Dan, who has seen epochs come and go, finds himself instigating a fresh epoch at the ripe old age of 99 when he becomes godfather to Alex Luxow. Alex himself is the novel's other principal protagonist and his life is the thread that binds this story, extending from his childhood on in the Balkans to his adolescence in West European exile.
Ilija Trojanow tells a colourful story of hopes and dreams, of homelessness and escape. Vasko, Alex's father, cannot bear the daily totalitarian reality of his East European homeland. Beyond the horizon, the Promised Land beckons... Then one day fantasy becomes reality. With their son Alex, a few suitcases and a wonderful tapestry, Vasko and Tatja manage to cross the border. At last:Italy and freedom!
Italy turns out to be the refugee camp of Pelferino, not at all the place of their dreams, and only Alex is happy, sampling the culinary delights on offer in the marketplace. For his parents, however, the hardship has just begun.
As the years beat down their resistance, even Alex is on the verge of surrendering to the hopelessness of exile - but Bai Dan comes to the rescue. Together, godfather and godson set out on an incredible journey on a tandem, for the world is still big enough to offer a way out of despair. And who knows whether its center is, after all, the little village where everything started?
Trojanow's debut novel playfully employs a wide range of narrative devices. Begun as a family saga, it proceeds through an unembellished account of real life in our time, yet climaxes as a panoramic fairytale.
Bulgaria (Ciela), China (Beijing Lire), Netherlands (De Geus), Russia (Text Publishers), Spain (Tusquets)