The Exchange-Rate Between Love and Money

The Exchange- Rate Between Love and Money

First published in England in 2008, The Exchange-Rate Between Love and Money is the kind of inventive, intelligent fiction that now deserves to make a splash stateside for Dallas-bred Thomas Leveritt . Set in Sarajevo circa 2002, it is a sly, tragicomic exploration of commerce, politics, and romance in the chaos of postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina. Among the characters that emerge from the swarm of international agencies and peacekeeping forces are Frito Cooper and Bannerman Tedus, partners in such dubious enterprises as a mob-financed factory that produces knockoff pharmaceuticals. The two are part of a ménage à trois with Clare Leischman, an investigator for the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia who spends her days interviewing survivors of wartime rape camps and obsessing about levying justice. The daunting question: Can love and happiness exist in the same world as such atrocities? Leveritt, channeling the biting wit of Kurt Vonnegut and the passion of Denis Johnson, provides an answer with this complex and remarkable novel. Simon & Schuster, $15

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