Exclusive Cover Reveal of “The Empusium” by Nobel Prize Winner Olga Tokarczuk



Electric Literature is pleased to reveal the cover for the novel The Empusium by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, which will be published by Riverhead on Sep 24, 2024. Preorder the book here.

The newest masterwork from the Nobel Prize winner takes place in a sanitarium on the eve of World War I, probing the horrors that lie beneath our most hallowed ideas.

In September 1913, Mieczysław, a student suffering from tuberculosis, arrives at Wilhelm Opitz’s Guesthouse for Gentlemen, a health resort in  what is now western Poland. Every day, its residents gather in the dining room to imbibe the hallucinogenic local liqueur, to obsess over money and status, and to discuss the great issues of the day: Will there be war? Monarchy or democracy? Do devils exist? Are women inherently inferior? Meanwhile, disturbing things are beginning to happen in the guesthouse and its surroundings. As stories of shocking events in the surrounding highlands reach the men, a sense of dread builds. Someone—or something—seems to be watching them and attempting to infiltrate their world. Little does Mieczysław realize, as he attempts to unravel both the truths within himself and the mystery of the sinister forces beyond, that they have already chosen their next target.

A century after the publication of The Magic Mountain, Tokarczuk revisits Thomas Mann territory and lays claim to it, blending horror story, comedy, folklore, and feminist parable with brilliant storytelling.


Here is the cover, designed by Lauren Peters-Collaer.

Author Olga Tokarczuk: “My story is clad in the conventions of horror while taking the culture of misogyny to task. But I hope my readers will enjoy its humor, and will have fun getting to the bottom a certain mystery. And that at least once they’ll feel shivers down their spines.”

Designer Lauren Peters-Collaer: “The Empusium is full of incredibly rich imagery, so a great deal of the design process in this case involved pulling images from the text and then combining, juxtaposing, and being inspired by them in a way that might speak to the book and its genre-bending nature. This cover hopes to be both macabre and humorous, and hints at ‘the horrors that lie beneath.’”

Translator Antonia Lloyd-Jones: “Translating this book was a delight—an exotic setting, an intriguing płot, some bizarrely compelling characters, magic mushrooms, mystery, danger and death, all described in exquisite style.”



View Original Source Here

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