The Ministry of Pain by Dubravka Ugresic

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Synopsis

Having fled the violent breakup of Yugoslavia, Tanja Lucic is now a professor of literature at the University of Amsterdam, where she teaches a class filled with other young Yugoslav exiles, most of whom earn meager wages assembling leather and rubber S&M clothing at a sweatshop they call the "Ministry." Abandoning literature, Tanja encourages her students to indulge their "Yugonostalgia" in essays about their personal experiences during their homeland's cultural and physical disintegration. But Tanja's act of academic rebellion incites the rage of one renegade member of her class—and pulls her dangerously close to another—which, in turn, exacerbates the tensions of a life in exile that has now begun to spiral seriously out of control.

 

About Dubravka Ugresic

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An acclaimed novelist and essayist, Dubravka Ugresic is a native of the former Yugoslavia who left her homeland in 1993 for political reasons. She now lives in Amsterdam.
 
Published October 21, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 272 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Passionless about passion—a one-night stand is a “minor transaction of mutual aid involving the commixture of bodily fluids”—Ugresic’s heroine burns with love for her native language and fury toward those who divide it into parochial subdivisions.

Mar 10 2006 | Read Full Review of The Ministry of Pain

The Guardian

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The Ministry of Pain Dubravka Ugresic translated by Michael Henry Heim 252pp, Saqi, £9.99 In her delightful, stirring book of essays, Thank You for Not Reading, Dubravka Ugresic wrote of one of the "advantages of exile": "exile is a voluntary job of deconstructing the established values of human ...

Oct 01 2005 | Read Full Review of The Ministry of Pain

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