Alexander Boldizar Author Reading

by Christina Butcher for OLY ARTS

Few authors can boast having worked as a porter, jujitsu fighter, lawyer and translator in their short lifetime, nor can most say they’ve lived in such diverse places as Indonesia, Japan, Nepal or the Czech Republic. Throw in having written a bestselling fiction novel and you’ve narrowed it down to a select few. Author Alexander Boldizar, though, has done all of that and more, and he’s coming to the Olympia Timberland Library for an author talk about his satirical novel, The Ugly.

Originally from Czechoslovakia, Boldizar now lives in Vancouver, Canada. His diverse professional background and travel experiences have greatly affected his work, he told OLY ARTS. “All immigrants have a bit of an outsider perspective, but being a lifelong immigrant (and) expatriate you get used to seeing cultural quirks and taboos from the outside. The same thing happens whether you’re changing cultures, languages or even professions, and it lends itself naturally to satire and critical thinking.”

Boldizar’s novel, The Ugly, was published in 2016 and voted first in Goodreads’ New Releases and Amazon’s World Literature categories. The book is about Muzhduk the Ugli, a boulder-throwing Slovak from Siberia who travels to the United States to recover his honor and stolen land from an American lawyer. Although the story has plenty of lighthearted entertainment value, it also serves as a criticism of our legal system. “Among lawyers, I was frustrated by the lack of soul, among artists by the lack of precision,” Boldizar said of his inspiration for the book. “In The Ugly, I set this up as plot and theme, the surface narrative and the thematic undercurrents…They’re impossible to really merge any more than precision and the soul can truly dovetail, but it’s always worth trying.”

Boldizar has published over 100 articles in literary venues including Chicago Quarterly Review,Harper’s Bazaar and Liberty Magazine. He hopes his work leaves readers with “a touch of critical doubt that is not nihilistic but happy and open,” he said. “I hope they come away thinking that there’s more than one way to think. I’m not talking about emotion versus rationality. I’m talking about rationality itself having multiple languages that are not fully translatable.”

What: Alexander Boldizar

When:  2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25

Where: Olympia Timberland Library,
313 Eighth Ave. SE, Olympia

How much: free

Learn more: 360-704-4636 │ The Ugly

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