Very pleased to learn that my Woman in the Window will be released in paperback this spring. I try to feel good about that, but this perhaps American illness I have in spades, along with the deadline to finish Kin, has me looking ahead, and here I may have found the heart, or one of the hearts of Jergović’s book:
Why did Vasil’ Nikolaevich come to the Stubler house, among all those men and women with their children, to be completely silent in our midst?
When I’m bored or have nothing to think about, or when I feel hopeless and at the end of my rope—hopeless like now as I write this novel of the Stublers, whose end is known from the start, a novel out of time and in it, which continues even after it’s finished and is finished by its very first sentence, which reads, “There in Bosowicz, in the Romanian Banat, on his departure for Bosnia, my great-grandfather Karlo Stubler left behind an elder brother”—again I wonder why Vasil’ Nikolaevich came to our house.
Atop this question, whose unanswerability I try to preserve within me, cultivating it like an oak bonsai, a series of equally unknown answers grows, and each is in harmony with its own narrative genre, stylistic format, or perspective from which the same question is always posed.
The book is the enactment of this unanswerability.