This novel was destined for any lover of history, modern philosophy, and radical politics. Like The Unbearable Lightness of Being, but without the lightness. —Recommended by Ivy, City Lights Books
When a Czech historian becomes convinced he's the illegitimate great-grandson of an infamous anarchist who attempted an assassination while living in the United States, he travels to New York to investigate. Arriving in Manhattan during the height of the Occupy Wall Street movement, his research takes him further back into the past—from the Pittsburgh home of a nineteenth-century US industrialist to 1920s Europe, where a celebrated anarchist couple is on the run from the law.
Based on the lives of Alexander Berkman and Emma Goldman, The Attempt is a novel about the legacy of radical politics and relationships—one that traverses centuries and continents to deliver a moving, powerful story of personal and political transformation.
Magdaléna Platzová's novel The Attempt is translated from the Czech by Alex Zucker, an award-winning translator of Czech literature. He has received an English PEN Award for Writing in Translation, an NEA Literary Fellowship, and the ALTA National Translation Award. He currently serves as cochair of the PEN America Translation Committee and lives in Brooklyn, New York.