Winner of the European Book Award
November, 1957. The Soviets have just launched the Sputnik, and communism rules in Eastern Europe, but the village of Baia Luna, nestled in the Carpathian mountains, is a world unto itself, populated with gypsy-philosophers and mysterious priests. But for fifteen-year-old Pavel Botev, this world begins to come apart the day teacher asks him to hang a photo of the new party secretary, then whispers a startling directive into his ear.
“Send this man straight to hell. Exterminate him.” The next morning, she has disappeared. Once a priest turns up murdered, Pavel sets out on a journey for answers—one that leads him into the frontiers of a new life. By turns grippingly realist and enchantingly surreal, The Madonna on the Moon announces the arrival of an important new voice in fiction.