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The Last Supper
by Pawel Huelle
translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones
Serpent's Tail, November 2008


“An intelligent, intriguing and atmospheric novel worthy of its inspiration. It is admirably served by Antonia Lloyd-Jones' nuanced and readable translation.” – The Independent

“Book lovers queue here.” – Scotland on Sunday

In a large city in northern Poland in the “near future,” Mateusz, a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, decides to prove that it is still possible to paint a large-scale picture on a religious theme. He chooses the topic of the Last Supper, and as models for the twelve apostles invites contemporaries, twelve men famous in the city for their cultural achievements, to his studio. The reader accompanies these men on their way there; and in the process of depicting their thoughts and questions and memories, Huelle paints not only a portrait of a generation whose youth coincided with the final decades of communism, who were adults in the years of transition, and whose autumn years are approaching in what is by now a completely different country, but a critique of the role of the Catholic Church in Polish society today. The reunion is disturbed by a wave of terrorist bombs that paralyzes the city, creating upheaval and a sense of distress… 
Pawel Huelle is a novelist, playwright, journalist, and a columnist for Gazeta Wyborcza. His fiction draws on autobiographical elements and pays homage to his hometown of Gdansk, where he has lived most of his life. He is the author of two collections of short stories and four novels, one of which, Who Was David Weiser?, was short-listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and has been made into a film. All of his recent novels, Castorp, Mercedes Benz, and The Last Supper have been translated into English by Antonia Lloyd-Jones and published by Serpent’s Tail. Lloyd-Jones received the 2009 Found In Translation Award for The Last Supper.

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