Speaking Cure, The by David Homel
Winner of The Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction in 2003
Dictatorship, politics, and forbidden love – welcome to Belgrade during the break-up of Yugoslavia, where anything can happen. That’s why clinical psychologist Aleksandar Jovic is not overly surprised to find a government gorilla in a vinyl bomber jacket waiting in his study. The ominous messenger brings momentous news. Jovic, who is ferociously opposed to the war, is being requisitioned to oversee a state-run clinic that has been set up to treat traumatized soldiers who have fought on the front lines. What he learns from his patients turns Jovic’s world upside down. How war brutalizes its victims and its perpetrators, and how everyday people find normalcy in the midst of chaos, is the background for this thrilling story. But The Speaking Cure also reaches behind this shadowy place of conflict – where the political and the personal constantly collide, and nothing is as it seems – to reveal essential truths about the nature of power and the mutability of reality.
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