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There is a liveliness and effervescence to Jana Benová’s prose that is magnetic. Whether addressing the loneliness of relationships or the effectiveness of rat poison, her voice and observations call to mind the verve and sophistication of Renata Adler or Jenny Offill, while remaining utterly singular.
Seeing People Off follows Elza and Ian, a young couple living in a humongous apartment complex outside Bratislava where the walls play music and talk, and time is immaterial.
Drawing on her memories, everyday interactions, observations of post-socialist realities, and Elza’s attraction to actor, Kalisto Tanzi, Seeing People Off is a kaleidoscopic, poetic, and deeply funny portrait of a relationship.
Jana Benová is one of the most acclaimed Slovakian writers, and winner of the European Union Prize for Literature. She is a poet and novelist, author of the novels Seeing People Off, Get Off! Get Off!, Parker, and Honeymoon (forthcoming from Two Dollar Radio), as well as three collections of poems. Though her work has been widely translated, Seeing People Off is her English-language debut.