Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead
Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
In a remote Polish village, Janina devotes the dark winter days to studying astrology, translating the poetry of William Blake, and taking care of the summer homes of wealthy Warsaw residents. Her reputation as a crank and a recluse is amplified by her not-so-secret preference for the company of animals over humans. Then a neighbor, Big Foot, turns up dead. Soon other bodies are discovered, in increasingly strange circumstances. As suspicions mount, Janina inserts herself into the investigation, certain that she knows whodunit. If only anyone would pay her mind . . .
A deeply satisfying thriller cum fairy tale, Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead is a provocative exploration of the murky borderland between sanity and madness, justice and tradition, autonomy and fate. Whom do we deem sane? it asks. Who is worthy of a voice? (From Riverhead Books)
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead was shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize.
Olga Tokarczuk won the 2018 Man Booker International Prize for Flights, which was translated by Jennifer Croft.
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From the book
The Deer were standing in the snow almost up to their bellies. They gazed at us calmly, as if we had caught them in the middle of performing a ritual whose meaning we couldn't fathom. It was dark, so I couldn't tell if they were the same Young Ladies who had come here from the Czech Republic in the autumn, or some new ones. And in fact why only two? That time there had been at least four of them.
"Go home," I said to the Deer, and started waving my arms. They twitched, but didn't move. They calmly stared after us, all the way to the front door. A shiver ran through me.
From Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones ©2019. Published by Riverhead Books.