Tadeusz Konwicki. Richard Lourie, trans. Robert L. McLaughlin, afterword.
Daedalus Item Code
A character named Konwicki—just like his author—has been asked to set himself on fire that evening in front of the Communist Party headquarters in Warsaw as an act of protest, in this 1979 novel by the author of The Polish Complex. Konwicki accepts the commission, but without any clear idea of whether he will actually go through with the self-immolation; he spends the rest of the day wandering the streets of Warsaw, being tortured by the secret police—and falling in love with a beautiful Russian woman.
"This is political satire at its best."—LATimes
"Like such other anarchic spirits as Flann O'Brien and Céline, [Tadeusz] Konwicki has a lovely light way of writing, which never clogs chaos with self-pity and bestows upon the direst pages sentences of casual magic."—John Updike