Siege of Comedians
Author: Daitch, Susan
Publisher: Dzanc Books
New from the publisher
"Ebullient ... Daitch finds stimulating connections and writes with sharp irony and joy. This offers delights on every page." --Publishers Weekly
Award-winning author Susan Daitch returns with Siege of Comedians, a novel in triptych told through interconnected narrative threads pulled taut by linked crimes.
In the first piece, an American forensic sculptor, reconstructing the faces of three victims receives a midnight, visit from a man who threatens her life unless she alters the faces she's almost completed. The twists and turns of the mystery lead her to a new life, working with forensic archeologists at a site near the Prater amusement park in Vienna.
In the second section, an accent coach discovers that the man implicated in the death of his girlfriend in 1970s Buenos Aires was once a censor and Assistant Minister of Propaganda in Vienna during World War II. When bodies start turning up under the former Propaganda offices, some date from the war period--but others are much older, their origins going back to the Ottoman siege of Vienna.
In the final arc, in the aftermath of the last battle between the Austrians and the Turks, a local businesswoman finds three displaced women from Istanbul--former wives of the sultan--wandering in Vienna and gives them shelter in her brothel, located on the site of the future Ministry of Propaganda.
Connected across time by intersecting crimes and themes of language, cultural assimilation, and nationalist conflicts, Siege of Comedians, part political thriller, part comic noir, reflects on aspects of the current refugee crisis, human trafficking, and identity.