Welcome to Slaka! A land of lake and forest, of beetroot and tractor, of cultural riches and bloody battlefields. Malcolm Bradbury's hilariously entertaining and witty novel, RATES OF EXCHANGE, introduces the small, eastern European country of Slaka. In less than two short weeks there, first-time visitor Dr Petworth manages to give a rather controversial lecture, get embroiled in the thorny thickets of sexual and domestic intrigues, fall in love, and still find time to see the main tourist attractions. In the wickedly funny satire WHY COME TO SLAKA? Malcolm Bradbury offers the would-be visitor, a la Dr Petworth, a wealth of information about the Slakan state, its pageantry and politics, its people and public figures, as well as some essential Slakan phrases: 'American Express? That will do very nicely.'
Malcolm Bradbury was a well-known novelist, critic and academic. He co-founded the famous creative writing department at the University of East Anglia, whose students have included Ian McEwan and Kazuo Ishiguro. His novels are Eating People is Wrong (1959); Stepping Westward (1965); The History Man (1975), which won the Royal Society of Literature Heinemann Prize; Rates of Exchange (1983), which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Cuts (1987); Doctor Criminale (1992); and To the Hermitage (2000). He wrote several works of non-fiction, humour and satire, including Who Do You Think You Are? (1976), All Dressed Up and Nowhere to Go (1982) and Why Come to Slaka? (1991). He was an active journalist and a leading television writer, responsible for the adaptations of Porterhouse Blue, Cold Comfort Farm and many TV plays and episodes of Inspector Morse, A Touch of Frost, Kavanagh QC and Dalziel and Pascoe. He was awarded a knighthood in 2000 for services to literature and died later the same year.