Both absurd and melancholy, Honey in the Carcase, the newest collection from award-winning Josip Novakovich, moves from scenes as familiar as a dinner party to the brutal landscapes of war-torn Southeast Europe. A man tends bees amid the bombed-out husks of his village. A young girl takes revenge for the loss of a precious life. A Yugoslav drifter finds himself at dead ends in the American heartland. A marriage splinters over a suspicious scent. A cat and a dog enact ancient enmity in the midst of a warzone. An old debt is repaid. And a boy and a juvenile hawk seem to be on a similar quest for freedom and adventure, though violence lurks in the wilds just beyond the window.
Novakovich, hailed as “one of the best short-story writers of the decade” (Kirkus Reviews), approaches each story with the signature insight, wit, and compassion that have brought him distinction as winner of the American Book Award and Whiting Writer’s Award, and a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize.