After being successfully published in the English language by HarperCollins Worldwide in February 2009, Rana Dasgupta's second novel, Solo will now be published by Gallimard Publisher in France, Karl Blessing in Germany, Janet 45 in Bulgaria, Signatuur in Netherlands, Aschehoug in Norway and by Feltrinelli in Italy.
The book has garnered unprecedented media attention worldwide and has had excellent reviews in major literary spaces. In India, the book is already in its first hardcover reprint.
Solo is a kaleidoscopic novel about the life and daydreams of Ulrich, a one hundred-year-old man from Bulgaria. Before the man lost his sight, he read a story in a magazine. A group of explorers came upon a community of parrots speaking the language of a society that had been wiped out in a recent catastrophe. Astonished by this discovery, they put the parrots in cages and sent them home so that linguists could record what remained of the lost language. But the parrots, already traumatised by the devastation they had recently witnessed, died on the way.
Wondering if, unlike these hapless parrots, he has any wisdom to leave to the world, Ulrich embarks on an epic armchair journey through the twists and turns of his country’s turbulent century – and through his own lifetime of lost love and failed chemistry. Set in a country that has belonged sometimes to Asia and sometimes to Europe, Solo is a book about lost roots, broken traditions and wasted ambitions – and the ways human beings overcome those failures.