by Lojze Kovacic
Pub Date 28 Jan 2020
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Kovačič meticulously, boldly, and sincerely portrays the objective, everyday world; the style is clear and direct. Told from the point of view of a child, one memory is interrupted by fragments and visions of another. Some are innocent and tender, while others are miserable and ruthless, resulting in a profound and heart-wrenching description of a period torn apart by conflict, reflected in the author's powerful and innovative command of language.
Kovačič voted the outstanding Slovene novelist of the past twenty-five years "Like Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle and Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Novels, Newcomers is a European saga ... that begins with the author’s youth and creeps outward, describing life with a rare acuity that not only captures both its dramas and banalities, but also considers them with equal significance. Newcomers is an emblem of what memory — personal memory, political memory, a place’s memory — can create from erasure... [C]uriously hypnotic." --Los Angeles Review of Books "A powerful chronicle of conflict and upheaval within both a family and a country, as told, and experienced, by a young, engaging, clearsighted boy . . .This fine novel is not only accessible, but deeply memorable." -- Minneapolis Star Tribune "Kovacic impressively catches the mood of the early years of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The volumes are masterpieces. They are bitter, but grippingly intense in their description... Newcomers is a mnemonic sleight of hand of botanical exactitude, a weighty historical document whose significance will only grow." --Sign and Sight "Epic and panoramic... Newcomers turns stereotypes on their heads, as novels of the century should do--stereotypes such as the dignity of rural poverty, the unifying sanctity of the Slovenian language, and the noble heroism of resistance." --Erica Johnson Debeljak, Context "One of the major Slovenian prose writers of the last sixty years." --Words Without Borders