by Vicente Luis Mora
translated by Rahul Bery
published 2 November 2023
PEN Translates Award Winner 2022
Winner of the Malaga Prize 2019
“Male, Prussian, Hussar soldier, frozen. That was the first body I found while digging in the frozen earth to bury my wife...”
At the dawn of the nineteenth century, European feudalism is starting to crumble. Newly widowed, Redo Hauptshammer arrives in a small Prussian town to claim a plot of arable land and the simple life of a freehold farmer. Digging a grave, Redo finds the body of a soldier. The next day, Redo uncovers two soldiers from an earlier time, perfectly preserved.
This archaeological novel digs into the strata of the European soil, uncovering a long history of oppression, expropriation and erasure. It contains the story of Redo’s mysterious life, and the great love at the heart of it, revealed in chapters of increasing length: as the bodies proliferate, the story gets more complicated. What will be excavated from the earth, and what will remain buried?
Audacious, playful and wickedly funny – in a bold yet lyrical translation by Rahul Bery – Centroeuropa cements Vicente Luis Mora’s reputation as one of Europe’s pre-eminent experimental writers, while introducing him to the English-speaking world.
Praise for Centroeuropa
‘Impeccable, from beginning to end.’ – El Pais
‘Mora embarks on a radical adventure in a Europe ravaged by wars and revolutions that has no reference in our current literature.’ – La Vanguardia