In a nativist near-future America obsessed with eternal life and under the increasing threat of technological surveillance, a long-lost brother and sister risk everything to reclaim their mother from oblivion.

“Kalfař is a wise, rapturous, and original writer . . . Eloquent, heart-stunning, and rich in awe-inspiring prose.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Relentlessly inventive . . . His writing has the same hyperactivity and fidgety contempt for generic boundaries as that of the young Safran Foer.” —The Guardian

When Adéla discovers she has a terminal illness, her thoughts turn to Tereza, the daughter she gave up at birth, decades earlier. Leaving behind her troubled son, Roman, in their native Czech village, she flies to New York in hopes of a long-awaited reunion with her daughter. But the America of 2030, with its authoritarian government and closed borders, is a different place from the open country she experienced as a young woman, when she eloped with a filmmaker and starred in his cult sci-fi movie.
Tereza, the star researcher for a secretive biotech company hellbent on discovering the key to immortality, is overjoyed to meet her mother. But when Adéla dies before they can make up for lost time, her corpse is whisked away to a shadowy warehouse in the Florida wastelands, where the bodies of immigrants are being stored for uncertain purposes. Distraught, Tereza travels to the Czech Republic to convince Roman, the brother she’s never met, to defy the law and the odds and return their mother’s remains to Czech soil.
Narrated from the beyond by Adéla’s restless spirit, A Brief History of Living Forever is a high-wire act of storytelling that confirms Jaroslav Kalfař’s boundless powers of invention. By turns insightful, moving, and funny, the novel is a reminder that neither space nor time can sever our connection to the ones we love.

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