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The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
City Lights Publishers 2016
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Description

"With shades of Umberto Eco and Paul Auster, this brilliant, addictive adventure novel is about the search for a mythical lost city located somewhere in modern-day Iran. As a succession of explorers and shady characters dig deeper into the landscape, the ancient secret of Suolucidir is gradually revealed. This is brainy, escapist fiction at its best."—Publishers Weekly, Starred & Boxed Review

"The author's prose is rich with winking allusions and sendups of modern tomb-raiding tropes, down to an explorer with 'a long stiff braid down her back.'"—The New Yorker

" . . . cerebral, satirical, and entertaining archaeological thriller . . . this richly crafted and handsomely written novel rewards rereading."—David Cooper, New York Journal of Books

"It's always a delight to discover a voice as original as Susan Daitch's."—Salman Rushdie

"One of the most intelligent and attentive writers at work in the US today."—David Foster Wallace

A series of archeological expeditions unfolds through time, each one looking for the ruins of a fabled underground city-state that once flourished in a remote province near the border of present-day Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Sealed off for centuries by seismic activity, Suolucidir beckons with the promise of plunder and the glory of discovery, fantasies as varied as the imaginations of her aspiring modern-day conquerors.

As the tumult of the twentieth century's great wars, imperial land grabs and anti-colonial revolutions swirl across its barren, deserted landscape, the ancient city remains entombed below the surface of the earth. A succession of adventurers, speculators and unsavory characters arrive in search of their prize, be it archeological treasure, oil, or evidence of crimes and punishments. Intrigue, conspiracies, and counter-plots abound, and contemporary events interfere with each expedition, whether in the form of the Axis advance, British Petroleum, or the Revolutionary Guards. People disappear, relics are stolen, and the city closes in upon itself once more.

A satiric, post-colonial adventure story of mythic proportions, The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir takes place against a background of actual events, in a part of the world with a particular historical relationship to Russia and the West. But though we are treated to visual "evidence" of its actual existence, Suolucidir remains a mystery, perhaps an invention of those who seek it, a place where history and identity are subject to revision, and the boundaries between East and West are anything but solid, reliable, or predictable.

Praise for The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir:

"Susan Daitch has written a literary barnburner of epic proportions. ... Her labyrinthine tale of archeological derring-do calls to mind both 1984 and 2666, and does so by looking backward in time as well as forward. It is also utterly original, the work of a visionary writer with an artistic sensibility all her own."—Andrew Ervin, author of Burning Down George Orwell's House

"This is a novel of archeology and history, of mythology and empire, powered by an undeniable call to adventure and a deep yearning for understanding, written by a novelist who manages to surprise on nearly every page."—Matt Bell, author of Scrapper

"Daitch's latest is a beguiling and virtuoso companion to our inevitable end: a novel that wrenches, sentence by fine sentence, some order from the chaos, while never shortchanging the chaos itself."—Mark Doten, author of The Infernal

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Street Date:
07/18/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780872867017
ASIN:
B01IMJRAOE
Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Susan Daitch. (2016). The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir. City Lights Publishers.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Susan Daitch. 2016. The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir. City Lights Publishers.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Susan Daitch, The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir. City Lights Publishers, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Susan Daitch. The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir. City Lights Publishers, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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No
Date Added:
Apr 07, 2017 17:34:13
Date Updated:
Nov 18, 2017 05:29:55
Last Metadata Check:
Nov 21, 2021 04:20:59
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Nov 21, 2021 04:20:59
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Sep 11, 2020 16:37:15
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Nov 26, 2021 04:07:43

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        Susan Daitch is the author of four novels, "The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir" (with City Lights) "L.C.," "The Colorist," "Paper Conspiracies" (also with City Lights), and a collection of short stories, Storytown. Daitch's "White Lead: A Novel of Suspense" comes out in the fall of 2016. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in LitHub, Black Clock, Guernica, Conjunctions, Slice, Tablet, Tin House, McSweeney's, Bomb, Ploughshares, The Barcelona Review, failbetter, TriQuarterly, ReDivider, The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Fiction, and elsewhere. She has been the recipient of a 2012 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Fiction, two Vogelstein fellowships. Fall Out, a novella, was published in June 2013 by Madras Press, all proceeds donated to Women For Afghan Women.

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"With shades of Umberto Eco and Paul Auster, this brilliant, addictive adventure novel is about the search for a mythical lost city located somewhere in modern-day Iran. As a succession of explorers and shady characters dig deeper into the landscape, the ancient secret of Suolucidir is gradually revealed. This is brainy, escapist fiction at its best."—Publishers Weekly, Starred & Boxed Review

"The author's prose is rich with winking allusions and sendups of modern tomb-raiding tropes, down to an explorer with 'a long stiff braid down her back.'"—The New Yorker

" . . . cerebral, satirical, and entertaining archaeological thriller . . . this richly crafted and handsomely written novel rewards rereading."—David Cooper, New York Journal of Books

"It's always a delight to discover a voice as original as Susan Daitch's."—Salman Rushdie

"One of the most intelligent and attentive writers at work in the US today."—David...

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The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir
fullDescription

"With shades of Umberto Eco and Paul Auster, this brilliant, addictive adventure novel is about the search for a mythical lost city located somewhere in modern-day Iran. As a succession of explorers and shady characters dig deeper into the landscape, the ancient secret of Suolucidir is gradually revealed. This is brainy, escapist fiction at its best."—Publishers Weekly, Starred & Boxed Review

"The author's prose is rich with winking allusions and sendups of modern tomb-raiding tropes, down to an explorer with 'a long stiff braid down her back.'"—The New Yorker

" . . . cerebral, satirical, and entertaining archaeological thriller . . . this richly crafted and handsomely written novel rewards rereading."—David Cooper, New York Journal of Books

"It's always a delight to discover a voice as original as Susan Daitch's."—Salman Rushdie

"One of the most intelligent and attentive writers at work in the US today."—David Foster Wallace

A series of archeological expeditions unfolds through time, each one looking for the ruins of a fabled underground city-state that once flourished in a remote province near the border of present-day Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Sealed off for centuries by seismic activity, Suolucidir beckons with the promise of plunder and the glory of discovery, fantasies as varied as the imaginations of her aspiring modern-day conquerors.

As the tumult of the twentieth century's great wars, imperial land grabs and anti-colonial revolutions swirl across its barren, deserted landscape, the ancient city remains entombed below the surface of the earth. A succession of adventurers, speculators and unsavory characters arrive in search of their prize, be it archeological treasure, oil, or evidence of crimes and punishments. Intrigue, conspiracies, and counter-plots abound, and contemporary events interfere with each expedition, whether in the form of the Axis advance, British Petroleum, or the Revolutionary Guards. People disappear, relics are stolen, and the city closes in upon itself once more.

A satiric, post-colonial adventure story of mythic proportions, The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir takes place against a background of actual events, in a part of the world with a particular historical relationship to Russia and the West. But though we are treated to visual "evidence" of its actual existence, Suolucidir remains a mystery, perhaps an invention of those who seek it, a place where history and identity are subject to revision, and the boundaries between East and West are anything but solid, reliable, or predictable.

Praise for The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir:

"Susan Daitch has written a literary barnburner of epic proportions. ... Her labyrinthine tale of archeological derring-do calls to mind both 1984 and 2666, and does so by looking backward in time as well as forward. It is also utterly original, the work of a visionary writer with an artistic sensibility all her own."—Andrew Ervin, author of Burning Down George Orwell's House

"This is a novel of archeology and history, of mythology and empire, powered by an undeniable call to adventure and a deep yearning for understanding, written by a novelist who manages to surprise on nearly every page."—Matt Bell, author of Scrapper

"Daitch's latest is a beguiling and virtuoso companion to our inevitable end: a novel that wrenches, sentence by fine sentence, some order from the chaos, while never shortchanging the chaos itself."—Mark Doten, author of The Infernal

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        Starred review from April 25, 2016
        Daitch’s fantastically fun novel has shades of Umberto Eco and Paul Auster and is brainy, escapist fiction at its best. Structured like a Russian nesting doll, the book conceals several overlapping tales centered on the search for the mythical lost city of Suolucidir. The novel begins with grad student Ariel Bokser’s present-day search for the city, located somewhere in modern day Iran. The book then shifts to the heart of its story, the so-called Nieumacher papers, an inheritance from Ariel’s father (a consulting mineralogist for a mining company) that relates the narrative of Sidonie and Bruno Nieumacher’s quest for Suolucidir, beginning in 1936. The Nieumachers are husband and wife; he’s a rare-book forger and she’s a law student, and they are fleeing the West as much as they are searching East for Suolucidir. Setting off under the guidance of Bruno’s former Berlin professor, now a black market profiteer, the duo brave adversity to find the lost city, dodging British agents and Russian spies. The book then shifts further back in time to the story of Hilliard and Congreaves, two mismatched British explorers who met at the Possum Club, an explorer society, and who set off in 1914 in search of fabled fortune and instead encounter their fate. Daitch has constructed an intricate, absorbing narrative. The novel is like a Scheherazade tale, never quite giving the reader time or reason to pause. What exactly is Suolucidir? Lost city of the Hebrew tribes? A stand-in for colonialism’s heart of darkness? Wisely, the MacGuffin remains elusive. As one character says, “Invisible cities sometimes leave no trace of themselves. Who knows what cities lay under our feet?” Perhaps Suolucidir is real, and still out there, awaiting discovery.

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        April 15, 2016
        An Umberto Eco-lite literary mystery spanning continents and centuries. A globe-straddling scientist with an eye for loot: check. An arcane trove that just may (or may not) force a revision of the way we think about things: check. This isn't your grandpa's Indiana Jones, though. Daitch (Paper Conspiracies, 2011, etc.) presents an intrepid protagonist of shifting identity--not a bad strategy to take when nefarious people are after the same thing he is, one made more urgent when the newspaper prints his obituary, leaving it to him to decide "whether the risks of reinventing myself are life shattering or way more inconsequential than you think." Smart, though a bit of a schmo, working with a trove of ancient documents that have come to him as if by fate, he begins to reconstruct the ancient civilization of Suolucidir--and that, in turn, draws in other stories by other seekers, a whole swirl of yarns, some shaggy dog ("Antonov believes that Suolucidir was a center for ancient pornography") and some more or less straightforward ("Though Ryder wasn't ordinarily a superstitious man, the plates' proximity to the beheaded skeleton made him leery of keeping them in his possession"). That the whole thing is a sendup is evident when you turn the word of the ancient place around, and in the end, that effort seems curious; the story plays straight just as well as it does with its postmodern flourishes. Slow to unfold, it has the self-satisfied air of the postmodern as well, though the broad range of allusions and references is entertaining to behold--on one page Krazy Kat, on another Josef Stalin, Winston Churchill, and the shah of Iran. And you have to give points to any yarn with a character named Shuki Fingers Feigen. An inventive concoction but a middling book; though without the grating ineptitude of Dan Brown, also without the charm of a Stanislaw Lem or Jorge Luis Borges.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

popularity
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publisher
City Lights Publishers
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tableOfContents

TABLE OF CONTENTS
First Collapse
Hillard and Congreaves
The Book of Smoke
"Silent, deserted, fallen cities"
The Dybbuk's Body
The Sanctuary For Maladies