It is 1993, and Aubrey Tearle's world is shutting down. He has recently retired from a lifetime of proofreading telephone directories. His favorite neighborhood haunt in Johannesburg, the Cafe Europa, is about to close its doors; the familiar old South Africa is already gone. Standards, he grumbles, are in decline, so bad-tempered, conservative Tearle embarks on a grandiose plan to enlighten his fellow citizens. The results are disastrous, hilarious, and poignant.Ivan Vladislavic is the author of a number of prize-winning fiction and nonfiction books. He lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.