Spontaneous Acts

Yoko Tawada


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Dialogue Books
11 July 2024
ISBN: 9780349704234
144 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Susan Bernofsky

The highly anticipated, exquisite new novel from the award-winning, critically acclaimed Yoko Tawada, following our protagonist Patrik as he attempts to find connection in a world that constantly overwhelms him.

Patrik is a literary researcher living in Berlin, a city just coming back to life after lockdown. Though his beloved opera houses are open again, Patrik cannot leave the house and hardly manages to get out of bed.

He is supposed to give a paper at a conference in Paris, on the poetry collection Threadsuns by Paul Celan, but he can't get past the first question on the registration form: 'What is your nationality?'

As Patrik attempts to find a connection in a world that constantly overwhelms him, he meets a mysterious stranger. The man's name is Leo-Eric Fu, and somehow he already knows Patrik . . .

Yoko Tawada's mesmerizing new novel unfolds like a lucid dream in which the solace of friendship, reading, conversation, music - of seeing and being seen - is examined and celebrated.

Spontaneous Acts reaches out to all of us who find meaning and even obsession in the words of those before us.

Previous praise for Tawada:

'Every Yoko Tawada novel pulls the ground out from under us, but gives us new senses in return.' Madeleine Thien, author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing

'Something about the way Tawada writes . . . allows the reader to take the most surreal and fantastical elements of the work completely seriously.' Lucy Scholes

'Tawada writes beautifully about unbearable things.' Sara Baume, author of Spill Simmer Falter Wither