In Rory MacLean's groundbreaking debut travel book, Winston the pig drops on to Uncle Peter's head and kills him dead. Unwilling to be left alone in her house Aunt Zita, a faded Austrian aristocrat and a vivacious eccentric, hijacks her nephew and, together with Winston, sets out on one last ride. The Berlin Wall has fallen only weeks before and Zita is determined to reach across the reopened borders and rediscover her remarkable east European family.In a rattling Trabant the unlikely trio puff and wheeze across the changing continent, following the threads of memory. Zita's relations - the angel of Prague, the Hungarian grave digger who buried Stalin's nose, a dying Romanian propagandist - help tie together the loose ends of her life. They picnic at Auschwitz. They meet Lenin's embalmer. They carry a long-lost corpse over the Carpathian mountains. Through war and revolution, decay and regeneration, "Stalin's Noseis" a surreal and darkly comic ride and a portrait of Europe like no other.
Rory MacLean's books, including best-sellers Stalin's Nose and Under the Dragon, have challenged and invigorated travel writing, and -- according to the late John Fowles -- are among works that 'marvellously explain why literature still lives'. He has won the Yorkshire Post Best First Work prize and an Arts Council Writers' Award, was twice shortlisted for the Thomas Cook/Daily Telegraph Travel Book Prize and was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary award. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 3 and 4. Born and educated in Canada, he lives with his family in Dorset. 'Rory MacLean is one of the most strikingly original and talented travel writers of our generation.' author Katie Hickman