“I envy children. They can believe in fairy tales, and we can’t. Adults like fairy tales the most in the world but are ashamed to admit it,” says the hero of Mr. A’s Latest Book. In order to pay off his debt to his creditor, who is also his publisher, the indebted writer writes fairy tales – or mysterious stories, if you prefer – and then reads them out to listeners every night. Day by day, the narrator’s fairy-tale world becomes more real, and the reality in which the story is set becomes more and more like a fairy tale, until finally the line between fantasy and reality disappears. In this way, the author opens the door to his artistic world, so persuasive and well known from everyday life, so magically unreal, disturbing – and terrifying.
Alhierd Bacharevich (born 1975) is a Belarusian writer, author of short story collections, novels, essays, and autobiography books. One of his most recent books, Mr. A’s Latest Book (2020), has been sold out, and its reprint is kept at the border, where it is being inspected by the Belarusian authorities. Bacharevich lived in Hamburg for six years; in autumn 2020, after active participation in the Belarusian protests, he and his wife, Julia Cimafeeva, a poet and translator, left for Graz, at the invitation of the Kulturvermittlung Steiermark.
Video by Eduard Bainar.