Translated by: Bruce Fulton, Ju-chan Fulton
Publisher: Dalkey Archive, 2014.
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Uzupis (on the other side of the river) is, in reality, a neighborhood in Lithuania’s capital city of Vilnius, which took the peculiar step of declaring itself an independent republic in 1997. In this novel, however, it is the lost homeland of a middle-aged man named Hal, who lands in Lithuania hoping to travel back to the town of his birth in order to bury his father’s ashes there — in a place that might not really exist. In a literary tradition dominated by social realism, The Republic of Uzupis is a unique work of melancholy, Murakami-esque whimsy.
Imagine what Haruki Murakami might come up with in a collaboration with David Lynch, after watching a few monster-free episodes of Doctor Who, and you might get an inkling of what to expect from Haïlji’s The Republic of Užupis. Weird and wonderful stuff.
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