City of Saints and Madmen: The Book of Ambergris.
Tähtifantasia award 2008.
In City of Saints and Madmen, Jeff VanderMeer has reinvented the
literature of the fantastic. You hold in your hands an invitation to a
place unlike any you’ve ever visited – an invitation delivered by one of
our most audacious and astonishing literary magicians.
City of elegance and squalor. Of religious fervor and wanton lusts. And everywhere, on the walls of courtyards and churches, an incandescent fungus of mysterious and ominous origin. In Ambergris, a would-be suitor discovers that a sunlit street can become a killing ground in the blink of an eye. An artist receives an invitation to a beheading – and finds himself enchanted. And a patient in a mental institution is convinced he’s made up a city called Ambergris, imagined its every last detail, and that he’s really from a place called Chicago…
By turns sensuous and terrifying, filled with exotica and eroticism, this interwoven collection of stories, histories, and “eyewitness” reports invokes a universe within a puzzlebox where you can lose – and find – yourself again.
Jeffrey Scott VanderMeer (born 1968) is an American writer. He was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, but spent much of his childhood in the Fiji Islands, where his parents worked for the Peace Corps. This experience, and the trip back to the United States through Asia, Africa, and Europe, influenced him deeply. He currently lives in Tallahassee, Florida. In 2003, Jeff married editor Ann Kennedy.
Photo: Jeff VanderMeer and his Finnish translators. Taken by Johan A. Creative Commons license.