L.A. Times Book Prize 2023 for Mircea Cărtărescu

Mircea Cărtărescu received this year’s L.A.Times Fiction Prize for his monumental novel SOLENOID (Zsolnay 2019) which was published by Deepl Vellum. Finnish rights are still available! Over these past years, the novel received amazing feedback from critics in Sweden, Denmark and will soon be out in Norway.

»Romanian Mircea Cartarescu’s novel has the same depth and sweeping inscrutability as ‚The Divine Comedy‘ and other classics of world literature. (…) I have never read anything like it and hardly anything that comes close.« (Information)

»The novel requires immersion, but in gods where you get your money’s worth. It is, quite simply, a fantastic novel. For at least two reasons. Firstly, because it is outrageously well written (and hence praise for the Danish translator Jacob Jonia). It is a very long time since I have read a book where the linguistic inventiveness and originality is so pronounced. […] Secondly because the book presents other ways of experiencing and understanding existence which, by virtue of the linguistic weight and the author’s fabulous imaginative powers, have challenged my world view.« (Jyllands Posten)

»A fun and beautiful and exuberant memoir of a time when literature was perceived as more real than so-called reality.« (Weekendavisen)

»Hypnotically fascinating« (Svenska Dagbladet)

»A Shakespeare for our time« (Aftonbladet)»Mircea Cartarescu’s ”Solenoid” is a masterly and magical novel, which without doubt belongs to the world literature. […]It reminds us about what literature can be when created by a brilliant writer on top of his ability.« (Sydsvenskan)

»The likelihood of Mircea Cartarescu being awarded the Nobel Prize seems to increase every year.« (Expressen)

»Mircea Cartarescu has once again managed to outdo himself.« (Göteborgsposten)

»A masterpiece with boundless, winding and imaginative map images of life and dreams in Bucharest.« (Borås Tidning)

„Solenoid . . . is a novel made from other novels, a meticulously borrowed piece of hyperliterature. Kleist’s cosmic ambiguity, the bureaucratic terror of Kafka, the enchantments of García Márquez and Bruno Schulz’s labyrinths are all recognizable in Cărtărescu’s anecdotes, dreams and journal entries. That fictive texture is part and parcel of the novel’s sense of unreality, which not only blends the pedestrian and the bizarre, but also commingles many features of the literary avant-garde. Although the narrator himself is largely critical of literature . . . he also affirms the possibility inherent in the “bitter and incomprehensible books” he idolizes. In this way, he plays both critic and apologist throughout, a delicious dialectic whose final, ravishing synthesis exists in the towering work of Solenoid itself.“ —Dustin Illingworth, New York Times

„Instead of delivering a sharp, succinct punch, Solenoid goes the way of the oceanic—rejecting brevity because the author, a Romanian Daedalus, is laying the foundation for a narrative labyrinth . . . The writing itself is hypnotic and gorgeously captures the oneiric quality of Cărtărescu’s Bucharest . . . Cotter’s translation is attentive to the efficiency of Cărtărescu’s ornate but surprisingly approachable prose, gliding from sentence to sentence and calling little attention to itself. The sheer immensity of Cotter’s undertaking combined with the unfailing evenness of the translation’s quality is nothing short of remarkable.“ —Ben Hooyman, Los Angeles Review of Books

„[S]omething of a masterpiece . . . Solenoid synthesizes and subtly mocks elements of autofiction and history fiction by way of science fiction. The result is unlike any genre in ambition or effect, something else altogether, a self-sufficient style that proudly rejects its less emancipated alternatives…The mesmerizing beauty of creation, of reality giving way to itself: that, above all, lies behind the doors of Solenoid.“ —Federico Perelmuter, Astra Magazine

„The great fun of this teeming hodge-podge is the way that Mr. Cărtărescu tweaks the material of daily life, transmuting the banal into the fantastical.“ —Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal

A young man reaps scorn and ridicule in his literary circle when he reads from his text The Decline. Rather than becoming the celebrated writer he hoped to be, he takes up a teaching position at school number 86 in a suburb of Bucharest. But when this nameless narrator buys a house in the form of a ship, he falls under the spell of the Solenoid, a giant magnet coil located below the cellar. Its gravitational force does not pull downwards, however, but elevates everything in its immediate vicinity: people, objects – even reality itself.

Mircea Cartarescu’s monumental novel is based on the simple realisation that there is more between heaven and earth than we suspect. The result is a work filled with the art and obsession of its creator.

Rights sold to Bulgaria (Faber), Catalonia (Periscopi), China (Beijing Imaginist), Croatia (Fraktura), Denmark (Palomar), France (Noir sur Blanc), Italy (Saggiatore), Netherlands (Bezige Bij), Norway (Solum), Portuguese/Brazil (Mundareu), Slovakia (BraK), Sweden (Bonniers), Spain (Impedimenta), USA (Deep Vellum)