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Additional Information
ISBN: 978-1-931883-55-9
Pages: 490
Size: 6 x 9
Publication Date: October 11, 2016
Distributed By: Publishers Group West
Lidija Dimkovska is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2013 European Union Prize for Literature for A Spare Life. She is also the author of the poetry collection pH Neutral History (Copper Canyon Press, 2012), which was a finalist for the 2013 Best Translated Book Award, and Do Not Awaken Them With Hammers (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2006). She lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Translator
Christina Kramer is a professor of Slavic and Balkan languages and linguistics at the University of Toronto. Kramer is the author of the language textbook Macedonian and co-translator of the novel Bai Ganyo: Incredible Tales of a Modern Bulgarian. She translated Lidija Dimkovska’s A Spare Life (Two Lines Press).

A Spare Life

by Lidija Dimkovska
Translated from Macedonian by
Christina Kramer
$10.00 $14.95

“Lidija Dimkovska enriches our contemporary museum of literary wonders with her powerful, grotesque, weird details and episodes told within the merry old novelistic tradition.”    — Dubravka Ugrešić, author of Baba Laid an Egg

A coming-of-age saga of two sisters, with an incredible twist…

It is 1984, and twelve-year-old twins Zlata and Srebra live in communist Yugoslavia. In many ways their lives are like that of young girls anywhere, except for one immense difference: Zlata’s and Srebra’s bodies are conjoined at their heads.

A Spare Life tells the story of their emergence from girls to young adults, from their desperately poor, provincial childhoods to their determination to become successful, independent women. After years of discovery and friendship, their lives are thrown into crisis when an incident threatens to destroy their bond as sisters. They fly to London, determined to be surgically separated—but will this dangerous procedure free them, or only more tightly ensnare them?

In A Spare Life master poet and award-winning novelist Lidija Dimkovska lovingly tells the lives of two astonishing girls caught up in Eastern Europe’s transition from communism to democracy. A saga about families, sisterhood, and being outcasts, A Spare Life reveals an existence where even the simplest of actions is unlike any we’ve ever experienced.

Praise

“[A] kaleidoscopic, bighearted novel” — Publishers Weekly

A Spare Life uses the boldest of metaphors – the life of conjoined twins – to embody the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia. This strange and wonderful novel brings to mind Elena Ferrante and Magda Szabó in the acuity of its social observation and the depth of its mordant humor.” — Katie Kitamura, author of The Longshot and A Separation

“Dimkovska has an eye for detail befitting of a poet and the stark, unrelenting prose of a master storyteller. A Spare Life is a weird and wonderful book, capturing the quirk and complexity of both a declining Yugoslavia, and the inseparable lives of two sisters with clarity, wit, and heart.” — Sara Nović, author of Girl at War, finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

“The truth is she’s unstoppable.” — Poetry Foundation

Lidija Dimkovska is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2013 European Union Prize for Literature for A Spare Life. She is also the author of the poetry collection pH Neutral History (Copper Canyon Press, 2012), which was a finalist for the 2013 Best Translated Book Award, and Do Not Awaken Them With Hammers (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2006). She lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Translator
Christina Kramer is a professor of Slavic and Balkan languages and linguistics at the University of Toronto. Kramer is the author of the language textbook Macedonian and co-translator of the novel Bai Ganyo: Incredible Tales of a Modern Bulgarian. She translated Lidija Dimkovska’s A Spare Life (Two Lines Press).