Karin Tidbeck’s AMATKA is a challenge to the reader’s imagination; create this world from scratch, it says, using someone else’s words, and then break it down to see what subtextual chimeras emerge from the ooze. I loved it. It speaks of the power of language to make and unmake worlds, and what a potent and dangerous thing it is, to be treated with reverence as the demiurgic substance it is, capable of aiding oppression or revolution.
AMATKA makes the reader ponder: how would you unmake the world and all its injustices? It’s also just rife with wondrous awe and dread, going from lost 70s Eastern European sci-fi movie to living Dali painting in my head. Fabulous.
Additionally, Karin Tidbeck’s first book, the short story collection JAGANNATH, is also excellent. I reviewed it for Strange Horizons in 2012, the year the original Swedish version of AMATKA came out.