A Brief History Of Living Forever – Jaroslav Kalfař


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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.

When Adéla contracts a terminal illness, her thoughts turn to Tereza, the daughter she gave up at birth, forty years earlier. Leaving behind her moody, grown son, Roman, in their rural Czech village, she tracks down her daughter in New York City. But the America of 2029, with its authoritarian government and closed borders, is a different place from the 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 reunite with her mother. But before she can find a cure, her mother dies mysteriously and is whisked away to a mass grave for undocumented immigrants in the swampy Florida wastelands. 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, A Brief History of Living Forever is a high-wire act of storytelling that demonstrates once more Jaroslav Kalfař’s endless powers of invention. By turns insightful, moving, and funny, the novel blends an immigrant mother’s heartbreaking journey through the American dream with her children’s quest to reclaim her from a country that would erase any record of her existence. Above all, it is a reminder that neither space nor time can sever our connection to the ones we love.


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