Reading Round The World: S is for Serbia/Montenegro

Garden, Ashes by Danilo Kis

The story of Andreas Scham and his father Eduard is really the story of Danilo Kis’ memory search for his own father. Eduard, a former railway official, is a writer of excessive, detailed travel sketches, timetables, and schedules. His magnum opus expands and expands as the family moves further and further from the middle class to the edge poverty and hunger on the eve of WWII. One image has his father in a cattle car being sent away – and that’s as close as we get to the holocaust, but make no mistake, this is a holocaust book.

Written from the child’s perspective the novel is a lyrical account, dreamlike, detached, searching – memories recalled from a later time.

I had trouble with this one, not able to immerse myself in the trance-like prose, so I found it hard to concentrate, to grasp. And hard to judge as well. All I can really say is this one did nothing for me.


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