Jennifer Croft with Spencer Ruchti — 'The Extinction of Irena Rey'

From the International Booker Prize-winning translator of Olga Tokarczuk, a propulsive, beguiling novel about eight translators and their search for a world-renowned author who goes missing in a Polish forest.

Third Place Books is thrilled to welcome writer and translator Jennifer Croft to our Ravenna store! Croft will be discussing her staff-favorite debut novel The Extinction of Irena Reya brilliant examination of art, celebrity, the natural world, and the power of language. Croft will be joined in conversation by Third Place Books author events manager Spencer Ruchti. This event is free and open to the public.

For important updates, registration is highly recommended in advance. This event will include a public signing and time for audience Q&A. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book!

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About The Extinction of Irena Rey. . .

Eight translators arrive at a house in a primeval Polish forest on the border of Belarus. It belongs to the world-renowned author Irena Rey, and they are there to translate her magnum opus, Gray Eminence. But within days of their arrival, Irena disappears without a trace.

The translators, who hail from eight different countries but share the same reverence for their beloved author, begin to investigate where she may have gone while proceeding with work on her masterpiece. They explore this ancient wooded refuge with its intoxicating slime molds and lichens and study her exotic belongings and layered texts for clues. But doing so reveals secrets—and deceptions—of Irena Rey's that they are utterly unprepared for. Forced to face their differences as they grow increasingly paranoid in this fever dream of isolation and obsession, soon the translators are tangled up in a web of rivalries and desire, threatening not only their work but the fate of their beloved author herself.

This hilarious, thought-provoking debut by award-winning translator and author Jennifer Croft is a brilliant examination of art, celebrity, the natural world, and the power of language. It is an unforgettable, unputdownable adventure with a small but global cast of characters shaken by the shocks of love, destruction, and creation in one of Europe’s last great wildernesses.


Praise for The Extinction of Irena Rey. . .

"Tremendously impressive. Peeling back the layers in this novel was way too much fun, particularly for a reader of Croft's many wonderful translations, and as a reader of translated literature in general. Think Suzanne Simard or Merlin Sheldrake meets Agatha Christie meets your favorite obtuse European novelist. Lord knows how Croft wrote a novel perfect for me, but she did it. The book comes complete with "translator's footnotes," which tickled me pink all the way through. It's got a hook. It's got digressions on the art and role of the translator. It has literal smoking guns. Who comes up with this stuff? You can imagine Croft herself, crafting plot point after plot point (did I mention this book has a plot?), having the time of her life. As did this reader."
—Spencer RuchtiThird Place Books

"This book was a wild ride that took me places I didn't expect to go. Smart, original and incredibly funny, Croft has written an absurdly entertaining dismantling of literary pretension."
—Jade TThird Place Books

"Croft . . . makes for a wickedly funny satirist when it comes to some of the more obsequious behaviors involved in the translator-author relationship. At the same time—even in the midst of a joke—she writes profoundly about the philosophical stakes of translation."
Kirkus Reviews

“Croft serves up a wickedly funny mystery involving an internationally famous author and her translators . . . This is a blast.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The Extinction of Irena Rey could only be written by master of language, a tamer of different tongues. It is brilliant, fun and absolutely alive."
—Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Chain Gang All-Stars

Jennifer Croft won a Guggenheim Fellowship for this novel, the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing for her memoir Homesick, and the International Booker Prize for her translation of Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights. She is the translator of Federico Falco’s A Perfect Cemetery, Romina Paula’s August, Pedro Mairal’s The Woman from Uruguay, and Olga Tokarczuk’s The Books of Jacob. She has also received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. She lives in Tulsa and Los Angeles. (Photo credit: Nathan Jeffers)

Want a signed edition of the featured book, but can't make it to the event? Order through our website or over the phone, and write your request for a signature or personalization in the comments field at checkout. Please call the hosting store if you're placing your order within 24 hours of the event.

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