The Feline Plague

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The Feline Plague

Author: Maja Novak Foreword by: Robert Buckeye Translator: Maja Visenjak-Limon

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A deftly written novel brimming with magical realist touches, The Feline Plague tells the story of Ira, a Slovenian child who discovers early the cruelty of the adult world—particularly the mistreatment of animals. Ira struggles to reconcile her life with a world in which people are small-minded, the chances for happiness are few, and petty tyrants rule. She takes a job with The Lady, a capitalist entrepreneur who runs the Ark, a pet emporium where she expects “pets will become the new jewelry.” Ira careens into adulthood alongside a fairy-tale cast: her evil mother and sisters, a benevolent grandmother, best friend and alter ego Felipe, a blind painter who moonlights as a window dresser, and a pair of twins so identical their employer thinks they’re one person. Acclaimed novelist Maja Novak masterfully conjures a series of vivid tableaux, setting Ira loose in a world where miniature wooden animals come to life—where jealousy, dreams, and realities unfold as Ira’s rite of passage parallels the backdrop of communism’s dying days and capitalism’s shaky start.


Product Info

Trim Size:
5-1/2 x 8-1/2
Page Count:
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About the Author

Born in 1960 in Jesenice, Slovenia, Maja Novak holds a law degree from the Law Faculty in Ljubljana and has received several prizes for her writing. She has published four novels—Izza kongresa, ali umor v teritorialnih vodah (Behind the Congress, or Murder in Territorial Waters 1993), Cimre (Roommates 1995), Karfanaum (Karfanaum 1998), and Ma ja kuga (Feline Plague 2000), as well as a collection of short prose, Zverjad (Wild Beasts 1996) and three books for children. Her work has been translated into several languages.

Reviews/Press Quotes

“Some enterprising animator should consider turning Maja Novak’s story into a feature length film.”
World Literature Today

The Feline Plague,
Maya Novak’s first novel to be translated into English, introduces this gifted writer to the world. A modernist writer, who plays deftly with the traditions of magical realism, provides commentary on political situations within her rapidly altering homeland… The Feline Plague is such a powerful message because it resonates in the heart of readers far beyond the borders of Slovenia.”
Armchair Interviews

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