3 December 2012 America reads Pilch
My First Suicide, a book by Jerzy Pilch, was included in The Best Fiction of 2012 – a list published by Kirkus Reviews. It is Pilch’s fourth book released on the American market and the second one which was appreciated by Kirkus Reviews – an American prestigious industry magazine issued since 1933. It was listed in a truly imposing company, alongside excellent writers such as Hilary Mantel – the winner of two Booker Awards (including this year’s award) and her novel Bring up the Bodies, Mario Vargas Llosa (Dream of the Celt), Alice Munro (Dear Life), Jo Nesbo, Philippe Claudel or Howard Jacobson.
The ranking of 100 most interesting books released in America this year includes all genres of fiction: novels, collections of short stories, detective stories, thrillers, fantasy and historical novels. American promoters of Pilch point out that ‘it is difficult to render the character of the abundant and eccentric, but wonderful prose of this Polish writer, who uses classic literary tricks by piercing the gravity of his topics with pricks of irony’.
Released in May by Open Letter, My First Suicide is ‘a collection of stories from a different realm‘, as the protagonist of the first story says in a conversation with the Most Beautiful Woman of the World. This different realm is, of course, “Lutheran” Wisła and its surroundings and inhabitants, including the erotomaniac Master Sztwiertnia, from whom the narrator’s father ordered a masterpiece: a chess-playing table, Grandmother Pech – a virtuoso of the art of washing and dressing corpses, or Grandfather Pech, who unsuccessfully tried to set five clocks so that they could ring at the same time.