The Physics of Sorrow: A Novel (Paperback)

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The Physics of Sorrow: A Novel By Georgi Gospodinov, Angela Rodel (Translated by) Cover Image

The Physics of Sorrow: A Novel (Paperback)

By Georgi Gospodinov, Angela Rodel (Translated by)

$16.99


In our warehouse - should arrive/ship in one month. (Currently not on our shelves.)

Staff Reviews


Here’s a shotgun apartment bookended (and pun intended) with a front porch and backyard garden, both of the autobiographical style that’s all the rage.  You, a visiting garden enthusiast, will pass through rooms of science fiction, folk tales, and mythology, each decked out with furniture, artwork, and tamagotchi of past roommates, lovers and ghosts; a fairly and squarely straightforward journey, yet when the back door closes you’re standing knee deep in someone else’s tomato plants, head bobbing like a bobblehead, looking forward to venturing back through that linear maze to make sure you locked the car (yes, there have been break-ins).

— Ian

A radical reimagining of the minotaur myth, from an essential voice in world literature.



Winner of the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature • Finalist for the PEN Literary Award for Translation and the Strega Europeo


Published a decade before his International Booker Prize–winning Time Shelter, Georgi Gospodinov’s The Physics of Sorrow has become an underground cult classic. Finding strange solace in the myth of the Minotaur, a man named Georgi reconstructs the story of his life like a labyrinth, meandering through the past to find the melancholy child at the center of it all. With profound wit and empathy, he catalogues curious instances of abandonment, spanning from antiquity to the Anthropocene; recounts scenes of a turbulent boyhood in 1970s Bulgaria, spent mostly in a basement; and charts a bizarre run-in with an eccentric flaneur named Gaustine. Exquisitely translated by Angela Rodel, and exhibiting his signature audacious style, this expansive work affirms Gospodinov as “one of Europe’s most fascinating and irreplaceable novelists” (Dave Eggers).

Georgi Gospodinov is one of Bulgaria’s most lauded authors. His novel Time Shelter won the International Booker Prize and the Premio Strega Europeo, among other prizes.



Angela Rodel is a prolific translator of Bulgarian literature and won the International Booker Prize for translation.


Product Details ISBN: 9781324094890
ISBN-10: 1324094893
Publisher: Liveright
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English
For all Gospodinov’s obsession with sorrow, he is a trickster at heart, and often very funny.
— Garth Greenwell - The New Yorker

There are very few novels that appear to a seasoned reader as utterly original: The Physics of Sorrow is one of these rare books.

— Alberto Manguel, author of A History of Reading