Solo is a devastating and rapturous novel about the life and daydreams of Ulrich, a reclusive one hundred year-old man from Bulgaria. Before the man lost his sight, he read this story in a magazine. A group of explorers came upon a community of parrots speaking the language of a society that had been wiped out in a recent catastrophe. Astonished by this discovery, they put the parrots in cages and sent them home so that linguists might record what remained of the lost language. But the parrots, already traumatized by the devastation they had recently witnessed, died on the way. Wondering if, unlike these hapless parrots, he has any wisdom to leave to the world, Ulrich embarks on an epic armchair journey through the twists and turns of his country's turbulent century -- and through his own lifetime of lost love and failed chemistry -- and finds his way to an astonishing epiphany of redemption and enlightenment. Set in a country that has belonged sometimes to Asia and sometimes to Europe, Solo is a book about lost roots, broken traditions and wasted ambitions -- and the depths of lyricism by which human beings overcome those failures.
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