The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir

The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir

Press Reviews

Midwest Book Review

"An impressively skilled and original storyteller of the first order, Susan Daitch's The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir is a unique, compelling and deftly crafted read from beginning to end. While unreservedly recommended for community library General Fiction collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists."--Susan Bethany, Midwest Book Review

The Complete Review
Aug 31, 2016

"[An] entertaining archaeological dig into lost worlds and identities."—M.A. Orthofer, The Complete Review

The Modern Novel
Aug 12, 2016

"[the] thinking person's post-modernist Indiana Jones . . . a highly intelligent and very well-written novel."—John Alvey, The Modern Novel

Lit Reactor
Aug 9, 2016

"The joy of Suolucidir lies in the characters that Daitch creates. From the Nieumachers, a married couple of adventurers living a lie to Ryder Congreaves, who leaves his family to descend into poverty while he scours the desert for the elusive city, this book is packed with the fascinating, the weird and the obsessed. That's the mystery: why we devote so much effort to the past, when the future is really all we have. You won’t find an answer to that question in this book, but you’ll enjoy the process of not getting an answer immensely."—Cath Murphy, Lit Reactor

Booklist Online
Jul 21, 2016

"An archaeological mystery becomes a vehicle for imaginative storytelling and metafictional commentary in Daitch's intellectually lively novel and a long-lost (possibly fictitious) Central Asian city. . . . rewards persistent readers with rich, clever fantasy."—Brendan Driscoll, Booklist

The New Yorker
Jul 15, 2016

"Susan Daitch's latest novel, The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir, recounts the search for a mythical city said to have been tucked between the borders of Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Daitch traces the journeys of its seekers and obsessives, who dig through archived records and ancient scrolls. . . . The author's prose is rich with winking allusions and sendups of modern tomb-raiding tropes, down to an explorer with 'a long stiff braid down her back.’"—The New Yorke

New York Journal of Books

" . . .  cerebral, satirical, and entertaining archaeological thriller . . . this richly crafted and handsomely written novel rewards rereading."—David Cooper, New York Journal of Books

Foreword Reviews

"Daitch's novel is Indiana Jones for the introspective crowd—a continual, thrilling, and harrowing search for historical treasures."—Michelle Anne Schingler

Publishers Weekly

"Daitch's fantastically fun novel has shades of Umberto Eco and Paul Auster and is brainy, escapist fiction at its best. Structured like a Russian nesting doll, the book conceals several overlapping tales centered on the search for the mythical lost city of Suolucidir. The novel begins with grad student Ariel Bokser's present-day search for the city, located somewhere in modern day Iran. The book then shifts to the heart of its story, the so-called Nieumacher papers, an inheritance from Ariel’s father (a consulting mineralogist for a mining company) that relates the narrative of Sidonie and Bruno Nieumacher’s quest for Suolucidir, beginning in 1936. The Nieumachers are a husband and wife; he’s a rare book forger and she’s a law student, and they are fleeing the West as much as they are searching in the East for Suolucidir. Setting off under the guidance of Bruno’s former Berlin professor, now a black market profiteer, the duo brave adversity to find the lost city, dodging British agents and Russian spies. The book then shifts further back in time to the story of Hilliard and Congreaves, two mismatched British explorers who met at the Possum Club, an explorer society, and who set off in 1914 in search of fabled fortune and instead encounter their fate. Daitch has constructed an intricate, absorbing narrative. The novel is like a Scheherazade tale, never quite giving the reader time or reason to pause. What exactly is Suolucidir? Lost city of the Hebrew tribes? A stand-in for colonialism’s heart of darkness? Wisely, the MacGuffin remains elusive. As one character says, 'Invisible cities sometimes leave no trace of themselves. Who knows what cities lay under our feet?" Perhaps Suolucidir is real, and still out there, awaiting discovery.'"