Goulash (Hardcover)

A Novel

By Brian Kimberling

Pantheon, 9780307908070, 224pp.

Publication Date: February 26, 2019

List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

A novel that stirs together the perfect proportions of humor, history, romance, and myth to bring to brilliant life a people, a time, and a city

Eager to escape stifling small-town Indiana, Elliott Black moves to Prague, where he gets a job teaching English. It’s 1998, and the Czech Republic is moving with increasing rapidity out of the shadow of communism and into the wilds of twenty-first-century capitalism. Elliott meets his students in a variety of pubs and conducts his lessons over pints of local Radegast beer. He gets his shoes stolen by an experimental artist who engages Elliott in a number of eccentric schemes. And he meets Amanda, an English teacher from the theUnited Kingdom, with whom he falls in love.

Together, Elliott and Amanda try to make a place for themselves as strangers in this strange land. They explore the dark history and surprising wonders of their adopted city, touring the twisting ancient streets and encountering expats, movie stars, tobacco executives, a former Soviet informant, and the president of Poland. But the forces that are reshaping the city are also at work on them, and eventually it becomes evident that their idyll must end—that change is the only reality one can’t outrun.


About the Author

BRIAN KIMBERLING grew up in southern Indiana and spent several years working in the Czech Republic, Mexico, and Turkey before settling in England. He received an MA in creative writing at Bath Spa University in 2010. Snapper, his first novel, was published in 2013.


Praise For Goulash: A Novel

“Brian Kimberling’s brisk, funny novel [is] set approximately 10 years after Czech independence, when Westernization had turned the country into a confused and unwholesome stew of capitalism and communism . . . The writing is smart, the quips are amusing . . . The story exudes . . . raffish charm.”
—Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

Goulash by Brian Kimberling entertained me so much . . . Kimberling, who lived the expat nightmare, has a droll, quirky take on the scene . . . Goulash made me want another serving.”
Bethanne Patrick, Lit Hub

“A quirky, funny, melancholy portrait of a significant European moment, captured by this most subtle of Americans abroad.”
—Tessa Hadley, author of The Past and Late in the Day
 
Goulash is a hilarious novel about a man’s quest for a home in a place full of challenges and lots of beer—Prague, 1998. Wonderful dialogue, endearing characters, and a deep sense of the historical forces at work combine in all the best ways to make this story really delectable.”
—Jessica Francis Kane, author of This Close and The Report 

“A vivid picture of a city creaking and shuddering as it settles into a new dispensation . . . This novel is quick to read, but its compelling pictures and insights will linger in the mind.”
—Claire Hopley, The Washington Times

“A winning, offbeat yarn about life and love after communism.”
Kirkus Reviews
 
“Kimberling . . . is an exacting wordsmith capable of elegantly simple sentences, and his narrator’s observations are often dryly hilarious . . . A remarkable evocation of time and place.”
Booklist