Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead: A Novel

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We've got our first ever #OMPReads from Jeremiah today! DRIVE YOUR PLOW OVER THE BONES OF THE DEAD, translated by Olga Tokarczuk. "This #OMPReads comes straight from the source (Poland)! Olga Tokarczuk’s newly-translated Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead has arrived, and it is haunting, harrowing, and hilarious! Janina, an eccentric amateur astrologer and William Blake translator, lives an isolated life in the woods of rural Poland. Suddenly, some of her (few) neighbors turn up dead under suspicious circumstances – and Janina is adamant that Animals are the culprits, and are taking revenge on people for hunting. Janina is a delightful narrator, constantly Capitalizing Words, giving People new names (such as: Oddball, Dizzy, Big Foot, Black Coat, Good News, etc.), and serving up Tokarczuk’s trademark wit and wisdom on a spellbinding platter. At turns delightful and troubling, Drive Your Plow questions fate, free-will, madness, and who should be held accountable in a mad, mad world.”


"A brilliant literary murder mystery." —Chicago Tribune

"Extraordinary. Tokarczuk's novel is funny, vivid, dangerous, and disturbing, and it raises some fierce questions about human behavior. My sincere admiration for her brilliant work." —Annie Proulx

In a remote Polish village, Janina devotes the dark winter days to studying astrology, translating the poetry of William Blake, and taking care of the summer homes of wealthy Warsaw residents. Her reputation as a crank and a recluse is amplified by her not-so-secret preference for the company of animals over humans. Then a neighbor, Big Foot, turns up dead. Soon other bodies are discovered, in increasingly strange circumstances. As suspicions mount, Janina inserts herself into the investigation, certain that she knows whodunit. If only anyone would pay her mind . . .

A deeply satisfying thriller cum fairy tale, Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead is a provocative exploration of the murky borderland between sanity and madness, justice and tradition, autonomy and fate. Whom do we deem sane? it asks. Who is worthy of a voice?