(2016, 119 pages)*
The Son is an ordinary thirty-something far west Canadian hipster of “Eastern” European origin, directionless and still living with his parents, who would like nothing better than to “finally do something significant” with his life. One day, during a particularly strong bout of eastalgia (nostalgia for his childhood behind the Iron Curtain), he resolves to set things right, by putting on an old-fashioned revolution, and thus begins a tragicomic story of how he tries — quite unsuccessfully — to plot to turn the province he lives in into a retro socialist kitsch utopia.
This debut mashup novella — part one-time novel with a turbulent backstory, part upcycled feature film script — is a satirical exploration of immigrant nostalgia and hyperreality filtering into everyday life, with hearthy Slavic soul and comic Euroflavour subtexts to boot.
Read it now, laugh and cry, and embrace the “East” in you.
* Originally released online in a series of thirty-one installments over the thirty-one days (October 17th to November 16th, 2014) leading up to the 25th anniversary of the Fall of Communism in the Czechoslovakia, the country of origin of The Son, the novella’s protagonist.
Read more about these #31daysofkanatan on The View East, Central and Eastern Europe, Past and Present blog by Dr Kelly Hignett, a Senior Lecturer in History at Leeds Beckett University.