The Ministry of Pain
Having fled the violent breakup of Yugoslavia, Tanja Lucic is now a professor of literature at the University of Amsterdam, where she teaches a class filled with other young Yugoslav exiles, most of whom earn meager wages assembling leather and rubber S&M clothing at a sweatshop they call the "Ministry." Abandoning literature, Tanja encourages her students to indulge their "Yugonostalgia" in essays about their personal experiences during their homeland's cultural and physical disintegration. But Tanja's act of academic rebellion incites the rage of one renegade member of her class—and pulls her dangerously close to another—which, in turn, exacerbates the tensions of a life in exile that has now begun to spiral seriously out of control.
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Review: The Ministry of PainUser Review - Leslie - Goodreads
Reading about the lives of emigrants from the former Yugoslavia currently living in Amsterdam is fascinating in itself: it takes two (or six, or eight) cultures and landscapes that are almost entirely ... Read full review
Review: The Ministry of PainUser Review - Kau - Goodreads
Unlike anything I have read before - a simultaneously chilling and warm, well-observed insight into the long-lasting effects of being displaced by war, and of losing one's country. It left a strong impression on me. Read full review