Translator: Nichola Smalley
Author: Andrzej Tichý
Publisher: And Other Stories
Year of Publication: 2020
A deeply musical novel about poverty and being ‘the one who got away’
Shortlisted for the 2016 August Prize
Longlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize
Winner of the 2021 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize
Malmö, Sweden. A cellist meets a spun-out junkie. That could have been me. His mind starts to glitch between his memories and the avant-garde music he loves, and he descends into his past, hearing all over again the chaotic song of his youth. He emerges to a different sound, heading for a crash.
From sprawling housing projects to underground clubs and squat parties, Wretchedness is a blistering trip through the underbelly of Europe’s cities. Powered by a furious, unpredictable beat, this is a paean to brotherhood, to those who didn’t make it however hard they fought, and a visceral indictment of the poverty which took them.