Fiction. LGBT Studies. On an unseasonably warm autumn day, an American newly arrived in a foreign city pays a young man for sex. Over the next months, as what at first seems an uncomplicated transaction deepens into something more intricate and unnerving, his discovery of the geography and griefs of an unfamiliar country is accompanied by the unfolding of Mitko's own narrative, his private history of illness, exploitation, and want. The story of a desire that grows increasingly ambivalent, poised between submission, need, and resentment, MITKO is a powerful meditation on the chances of history and privilege, on mutual predation, and on our inability to know with any certainty the natures of others or our own fugitive selves.
Author City: SOFIA BUL
Garth Greenwell lives in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he teaches at the American College of Sofia. MITKO is his first book.
Reviews and Other Links
24th Annual Lambda Literary Award Finalist
“In MITKO Garth Greenwell displays a dazzling ability to negotiate the shadowy boundary between lust and longing. The story is thoroughly modern, but the elegance of his style, his devotion to his characters, and his Jamesian skill in parsing emotions give this
narration a timeless quality. A splendid debut.”
Margot Livesey, author of The House on Fortune Street
“MITKO is a haunting and compelling meditation on erotic obsession, loneliness, and power. Garth Greenwell writes with the intensity and urgency of a poet, and his novella takes on the weight and impact of a much longer work of fiction.”
Stephen McCauley, author of The Object of My Affection
“Garth Greenwell’s MITKO is a work of enormous verbal energy in the service of a vision punishing and remorseless. An anatomy of desire and disappointment in a life ‘pitched almost always beneath the pitch of poetry’ yet captured in language alert to every prospect of beauty, however compromised and fleeting.”
Robert Boyers, author of The Dictator’s Dictation
“In this lyrical and sophisticated exploration of tormented desire and romantic obsession, Garth Greenwell unfurls a story of love and life in a faraway place that is finely observed and deeply felt. His voice is elegant and original; his prose graceful, seductive and full of yearning.”
David Francis, author of Stray Dog Winter
“MITKO is a novella of astonishing force and poignance, and Greenwell’s Sofia brings to mind Christopher Isherwood’s Berlin or the Saigon of Marguerite Duras.”
Honor Moore, author of The Bishop’s Daughter