HOLOGRAMS OF FEAR by Slavenka Drakulic


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 From Croatian journalist Drakuli (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
ISBN: 0-393-03107-1
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Norton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1992


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