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"Everyone lucky or doomed enough to go to Palimpsest, a city visited only in dreams, awakes bearing a tattooed map of its neighborhoods. Each of four travelers linked by ink stains in a frog-headed fortune-teller's shop finds an unimaginable fate in the city, such that waking life becomes a search for readmission to Palimpsest. Sei dreams of trains, November of mechanical bees, Ludovico of the unwritten etymology of the city, and Oleg of his drowned sister. Palimpsest becomes what each most desires in ways only a city of sentient trains, mechanical insects, and shark-headed generals could. History unfolds as the four learn the ways of Palimpsest and discover the price of becoming more than tourists. Each has found something he or she lost in the waking world that is reimagined in the ways of Palimpsest, and nearly everyone who goes there yearns to emigrate. Overflowing with poetic images and epic repetition, Valente's story washes us to an unexpected shore".

Regina Schroeder