A national bestseller, Dictionary of the Khazars was cited by The New York Times Book Review as one of the best books of the year. Written in two versions, male and female (both available in Vintage International), which are identical save for seventeen crucial lines, Dictionary is the imaginary book of knowledge of the Khazars, a people who flourished somewhere beyond Transylvania between the seventh and ninth centuries. Eschewing conventional narrative and plot, this lexicon novel combines the dictionaries of the world's three major religions with entries that leap between past and future, featuring three unruly wise men, a book printed in poison ink, suicide by mirrors, a chimerical princess, a sect of priests who can infiltrate one's dreams, romances between the living and the dead, and much more.
"All its delights...the structural novelty and the comic inventiveness of the imagery...[are] an ebullient and generous celebration of the reading experience." -- The New York Times Book Review
"As with Borges or Garcia Marquez...[Pavic] knows how to support his textual legerdemain with superb portrait miniatures and entrancing anecdotes." -- Washington Post Book World
Translated from the Serbo-Croatian
by Christina Pribicevic-Zoric