Translated by Ellen Elias-Bursać
Oleg and Nikola—hustlers, entrepreneurs, ambassadors of capitalism—have come to the town of N to build an obsolete turbine, never mind why. Enlisting the help of former engineer Sobotka, they reopen the old turbine factory, preaching the gospel of “self-organization” and bringing new life to the depressed post-communist town. But as the project spins out of control, Oleg and Nikola find themselves increasingly entangled with the locals, for whom this return to past prosperity brings bitter reckonings and reunions. At once a savage sendup of our current political moment and a rueful elegy for what might have been, this sprawling novel blends tragedy and comedy in its portrayal of ordinary people wondering where it all went wrong, and whether it could have gone any other way.
Witty and ambitious, No-Signal Area is a sprawling novel, smart and just cynical enough to frame and give an edge to the abiding nostalgia that is its real subject. Robert Perišić's second novel to be translated into English is a cause for delight.
“Robert Perišić is a light bright with intelligence and twinkling with irony, flashing us the news that postwar Croatia not only endures but matters.”– Jonathan Franzen
“In Perisic’s poignant telling, the erasure of Yugoslavia and its socialist experiment continues to haunt its people, exes now adrift in a postwar vacancy. This void may be familiar to any reader who no longer feels connection to the divided, damaged nation he or she inhabits.”– Ken Kalfus, The New York Times Book Review