Diary of a Blood Donor

Mati Unt, Author, Ants Eert, Translator , trans. from the Estonian by Ants Eert. Dalkey Archive $12.95 (212p) ISBN 978-1-56478-496-4

Estonian novelist Unt (1944–2005) gets a bang out of remixing Dracula as a postmodern fable and a metaphor for postcommunist life. A writer receives a summons to meet a stranger in Leningrad, and, after much internal strife, he decides to go. Once the writer is in the city, the novel is thrust into an underworld of vampires, blood suckers and superstition. Unt fills the novel with amusing asides and comments, indicating his awareness of the thinness of his plot. He clearly prefers narrative playfulness to straightforward storytelling here, and though the novel is a bit of a chore to get through, hints of vampirism as a powerful metaphor for communism and postcommunist upheaval are sprinkled throughout like allegorical Easter eggs. (May)

Reviewed on: 03/31/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
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