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The Exploded View
A quartet of stories revolving around four men in Johannesburg: a statistician employed on the national census, an engineer out on the town with his council connections, an artist with an interest in genocide and curios, and a contractor who erects billboards on building sites; each tries to make sense of a changed world after the demise of apartheid.
Published January 1st 2004 by Random House (NY)
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Vladislavic was recommended to me by some literary critics in South Africa, who are fed up with Coetzee because he is taken to represent their national situation. In their view, Coetzee's sense of politics is simple-minded to the point of absurdity, and unhelpfully mythologizing ("Waiting for the Babrarians"), while his sense of place is abstract to the point of universality (where, exactly, does "Despair" or "Diary of a Bad Year" take place?). Personally, I had never read Coetzee as a way to le ...more
Ivan Vladislavić was born in Pretoria in 1957 and lives in Johannesburg, where he works as a writer and editor. His books include the novels "The Restless Supermarket", "The Exploded View" and "Double Negative", and a compendium of short stories titled "Flashback Hotel". In 2006, he published "Portrait with Keys", a sequence of documentary texts on Johannesburg. He has edited books on architecture ...moreMore about Ivan Vladislavić...