It's Carnival time 2012, and the Slovenian city of Maribor is European Capital of Culture. In an attempt to maximize profit, local politicians and showman peddle every possible art form. Amidst the hype, dramatist Adam Bely and Cuban-Austrian journalist Rosa Portero pursue a secret mission: to track down and overthrow the sinister octopus of 13 selected persons that seems to be in control. On the way, they encounter a variety of important citizens, all entangled in a web of corruption and lies. In the tradition of Bulgakov, Gogol and Kafka Ales Steger lets the forces of good and evil collide in this grandiose literary thriller. This is a debut novel filled with striking personae, haunting images and a grotesque plot. It proves, in the end, to be a journey into the heart of a European darkness.
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ALEŠ ŠTEGER is a Slovene poet, writer, editor and literary critic. Aleš belongs to a generation of writers that started to publish immediately after the fall of Yugoslavia. His first poetry collection Šahovnice ur (1995) was sold out in three weeks after publication and indicated a new generation of Slovenian artists and writers. Štegers books have been translated into 16 languages and his poems appeared in internationally renowned magazines and newspapers as The New Yorker, Die Zeit, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, TLS and many others. Among other prizes and honours his English translation of Knjiga reči (The Book of Things, BOA Editions, 2010) won two mayor U.S. translation awards (BTBA award and AATSEL). In 1998 Šteger won the Veronika Award for his poetry collection Kašmir and in 2008 he won the Rožanc Award, Berlin's most prestigous prize for essays written in the Slovene language.
Aleš received the title Chevalier dans le ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the French State. He is a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. Besides writing and translating from German and Spanish Aleš is also the programme director of Beletrina academic Press that he co-funded (www.studentskazalozba.org). He is also the programme director of the international poetry festival, Days of Poetry and Wine. Which is held annualy in the town of Ptuj, Slovenia.