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Runners by Olga Tokarczuk

Runners (2007)

by Olga Tokarczuk

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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This is an excellent Polish novel. It’s thoroughly modern and engaging. It reflects the mobility and transience of our contemporary life. The frame for it is travelling: airports, different places around the globe- unnamed yet recognizable and sometimes just nowhere in particular yet everywhere. The structure is fragmentary- short, few page long snippets, images, fragments of narration of accidental meetings of fellow travellers, their stories, stories of places. The structure reflects the fragmentary nature of our experience, boundless curiosity pushing us forward to explore, seeking what, immortality? Staying forever young? Better life? Or, is it just wanderlust? Difficult to tell. Also difficult to tell if it’s fiction or non-fiction. A bit of both, I guess. Something Byatt's Frederica would perhaps call 'laminations".

There is no good translation of the title. Bieguni can be translated as runners, or it can be translated as pilgrims. The title is borrowed from the name of an Orthodox Christian sect whose members tried to avoid evil by moving about and changing places. ( )
2 vote Niecierpek | Oct 14, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Olga Tokarczukprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kinsky, EstherTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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