Room Service offers richly detailed images of the people and places of Richard Swartz’s adopted slice of Europe, and thoughtful reflection on his status as a privileged outsider.
We meet Serbian poets and priests in the service of war, the bewitching wife of a Romanian bigot, a Czech factory manager turned hotel porter in the wake of 1968, Ceauçescu’s masseuse, the king of all the gypsies, a cantor who is the last survivor of a Jewish community, and many others — famous, infamous, and anonymous — who take their places in a fascinating, moving, and sometimes cuttingly funny history of a region at the brink of enormous change. Now translated into almost every European language, Room Serviceblends travel writing, reflection, and reportage to paint a rich literary portrait of Eastern Europe in transition.
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