HOLOGRAMS OF FEAR by Slavenka Drakulic


Email this review


From Croatian journalist Drakulic (How We Survived Communism, 1991--not reviewed), her first novel to be translated into English. Here, illness, its sensation and its isolation, is the theme--about a diabetic Croatian woman who's living in New York more or less alone (her daughter's been left back in Europe), waiting for a call to Boston and the summons to a kidney transplant that will perhaps save her life. As the book begins, this call has come, and what follows is a nearly moment-by-moment account of the sensation of dread, physical discomfort, mental dissociation, and spiritual need that the malfunctioning body imposes on a person: ""I must weave circles around myself and maybe that way I can enclose time. Little ones to begin and then larger. Time passes through me. I feel it making me heavy. But I can't hold on to it. I am not in it. There is no Me."" Phenomenologically accurate as all this is, be warned that it makes for sludgy fiction: claustrophobic, repetitious, and thoroughly dispiriting.

Pub Date: May 25th, 1992
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Norton