An intense, polyphonic story collection by an important and acclaimed voice in contemporary Swedish literature.
In PURITY, Andrzej Tichý combines a short-form, multi-faceted narrative of the chaotic outbursts within the relative order of society. The people in these stories all struggle to relate to the structures that layer the world and the human psyche: a man has an outburst of on a bus; a fugitive finds a colour wheel and gains insight from it; a social realist kills his friend with a hammer; a thief proclaims his innocence. And, the cleaners reluctantly clean up.
With weight as well as humour, people are depicted as fallen—those who are in the process of doing so, and those who are still waiting to fall—all against the foundation of a violent civilization that tries to seize the meaning of one’s own death sentence, rendered by Tichý with a fury of words akin to Thomas Bernhard.
— Dagens Nyheter
‘As in all his best books, Tichý is an entertainer. Funny and drastic. Smart and tough. Never letting the tragedy become comedy. It is the style, between elegant novel prose and the colloquial, that lends the fragmentary stories a glimpse of something almost cheerful; the laughter when, staring into the abyss, you realise it is staring right back at you.’
‘A feverish kind of despair about the eternal machine of abuse of power thrusts Tichý’s disparate voices into an affecting whole.’
— Svenska Dagbladet