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Stalin's Nose: Across the Face of Europe

Stalin's Nose: Across the Face of Europe
Rory MacLean

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In Rory MacLean's groundbreaking debut travel book, Winston the pig drops on to Uncle Peter's head and kills him dead. Unwilling to be left alone in her house Aunt Zita, a faded Austrian aristocrat and a vivacious eccentric, hijacks her nephew and, together with Winston, sets out on one last ride. The Berlin Wall has fallen only weeks before and Zita is determined to reach across the reopened borders and rediscover her remarkable east European family.In a rattling Trabant the unlikely trio puff and wheeze across the changing continent, following the threads of memory. Zita's relations - the angel of Prague, the Hungarian grave digger who buried Stalin's nose, a dying Romanian propagandist - help tie together the loose ends of her life. They picnic at Auschwitz. They meet Lenin's embalmer. They carry a long-lost corpse over the Carpathian mountains. Through war and revolution, decay and regeneration, "Stalin's Noseis" a surreal and darkly comic ride and a portrait of Europe like no other.

Author Info

Rory MacLean's books, including best-sellers Stalin's Nose and Under the Dragon, have challenged and invigorated travel writing, and -- according to the late John Fowles -- are among works that 'marvellously explain why literature still lives'. He has won the Yorkshire Post Best First Work prize and an Arts Council Writers' Award, was twice shortlisted for the Thomas Cook/Daily Telegraph Travel Book Prize and was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary award. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 3 and 4. Born and educated in Canada, he lives with his family in Dorset. 'Rory MacLean is one of the most strikingly original and talented travel writers of our generation.' author Katie Hickman


'A minor masterpiece of comic surrealism.'
The Times

'Crazy, charming, a delight'
John le Carre

'The most extraordinary debut in travel writing since In Patagonia. A dark, sardonic and brilliant book which grows in stature with every page.'
William Dalrymple

'As an allegory it is powerful and frequently moving. As a tale it is tremendous fun. It is also a thing of beauty'
Jan Morris

There is pathos and adventure in spades... Stalin's Nose is an essential companion for anyone travelling to a part of the world still recovering from the horrors of the giant confidence trick that was communism.'
Justin Marozzi, Financial Times

'It is a painful book of bitter old ages, or lives which have had their meanings repeatedly declared void. It is very hard and very good.'

'A Gogolesque tour in a Trabant: eccentric, amusing and chilling.'
The Economist

'The wittiest, most surreal travel writing of recent years.'
Frank Delaney

'The best book I've read for a long time.'
John Wells

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781845116231
Publication Date: 29 Sep 2009
Number of Pages: 232
Illustrations: map

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