AUTHOR : Vladimir Tasic
COUNTRY : Canada
SOLD TO: SchirmerGraf (Germany)
My brother is no more. One could say that a box of ashes is all that is left of him, but that box is empty now. The mailman – young, pimpled, and in a purple uniform – delivered it on the morning of December 12, 2000. It was Tuesday. I was getting ready to go to work. My wife was still asleep. The young man put the package on the doorstep as if to let me know that I could not have it until I wrote the name of the recipient in the absurdly small space reserved for that purpose on the postal form. I almost never get any packages. I get books, bills, pamphlets from the Church of Latter Day Saints, and flyers from Corleone’s, the pizza joint down on Cedar Street. It is my wife who receives all the packages; at least two or three a week. The doorbell does not wake her up. She responds to it with a chuckle and goes back to sleep without even moving. Her packages come from all over, and I receive them with feigned indifference that I would like to believe conceals my envy. They usually contain glazing powders with names such as Evening Shadow, Very Dry Shino, Crackle Shino, Burnt Sugar, Indian Summer, Old Copper, Iron Earth, and the like. Inside them one sometimes finds small bags of dried horse manure from Arizona, the favored catalyst of all processes alchemical. My wife is a successful potter. As for me, the what-do-I-want-to-be-when-I-grow-up essay is still a struggle to write. I’ll take care of it some day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Writer, essayist, and professor of mathematics at the University of New Brunswick, Vladimir Tasic was born in Yugoslavia in 1969. In 2004, he won two of the Serbia’s most prestigious literary prizes with Rain and Paper, the Vital Prize and above all, the Nin Prize for the best novel of the year. This literary award is the most famous in Serbia : it has existed over 50 years and the previous winners were Kis, Crnjanski, Ivó Andric, Pekic, Pavic, Arsenijevic, David Albahari, Goran Petrovic. i>Farewell Gift, has been applaused by critics and booksellers, at the time of his parution in France (2004).