The Story of My Baldness by Van DerJMark

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In The Story of My Baldness, Viennese philosophy student Marek van der Jagt tells the story of his quest for l'amour fou. His tale begins in a sleazy bar, where he receives a suitcase from a mysterious, vodka-guzzling artiste. The suitcase contains clothes that belonged to his late mother. And, more importantly, it contains a clue to the first of many shameful secrets that form the backbone of The Story of My Baldness.

Along the way from this first secret to the last—the final revelation that brings the story full circle—van der Jagt leads us past a hilarious grotesque of characters: his stepmother Eleonore, author of the best-selling How Old Women Can Get Rich; Otto, the Dry Cleaning King of Vienna and the man who holds the key to Marek's past; the nubile and willing Luxemburgers Andrea and Milena, who uncover Marek's own darkest secret; Professor Hirschfeld, the collector of criminal dreams; Dr. Ahorn, the plastic surgeon without solutions; and, last but not least, Marek's own promiscuous mother, who "lived to elicit desire, the way other people live for their children, or to become millionaires..."

Marek's efforts to outdo his mother's romantic exploits are rewarded in unexpected fashion. The Story of My Baldness is fresh and funny—neurotically, claustrophobically funny. In it, van der Jagt uses Vienna the way Kafka used Prague—as the (strangely familiar) landscape where the narrator's obsessions are given free rein.


About Van DerJMark

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Marek van der JagtMarek van der Jagt is a Viennese philosopher. His first book, The Story of My Baldness, was awarded the Anton Wachter Prize for a debut novel, until it was revealed that he had won the prize previously for Blue Mondays, written under the name of the best-selling international author Arnon Grunberg, his bitter public rival.Dr. Todd ArmstrongDr. Todd Armstrong has academic experience on both sides of the Atlantic and a longstanding interest in the role of memory and concepts of guilt in the literature of the former Austro-Hungarian empire. He lives and works in the eastern Netherlands.
Published January 1, 2004 by Other Press.
Genres: . Fiction

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After all, his extraordinary, mad mother dies when Marek is just 18, under circumstances that might darken the vision of any young man, let alone that of the sensitive Marek, who, it seems, turns to the study of philosophy, though not quite leaving life behind.

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Publishers Weekly

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the book's real author is Arnon Grunberg, a prolific young Dutch author whose talent is matched—or possibly exceeded—by his desire to provoke the Dutch literary establishment.

Oct 11 2004 | Read Full Review of The Story of My Baldness

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