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Tea With the Queen – Rights


    In 1969 a young Slovenian painter Vili Vaupotič arrives in London with the great hope that within two years his masterpieces will be exhibited in the Tate Gallery, while he himself will be invited to the annual Queen’s tea party for successful immigrants. (Sir William Wowpotitch?) Tea with the Queen is a bitter-sweet tale of lost illusions, rich with unexpected reversals and (self)reflections. The external narrative is merely a means whereby the author creates in front of the reader’s eyes “a stream of those aspects of reality that most people, because of their trivia-laden minds, no longer register”. The novel’s admirable flow is interspersed with “a cacophony of aggressive sounds” forcing their way into the minds of the characters from outside, revealing that “the outside reality is kinder than the reality of our souls”. Tea with the Queen is thus a luxurious, vibrant story about eternal human fallibility, about our blindspots and hopes, mistakes and sorrows; in other words, as universal as a story can be. Thanks to the author’s exceptional feeling for nuances, dialogue and dramatic fabulation even such a long novel is a pleasure to read. In terms of narrative mastery, Tea with the Queen surpasses even the author’s legendary Sorcerer’s Apprentice, in the past 30 years the most widely read novel by any Slovenian author.

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