The Adjudicator

by Susan Daitch

January 21, 2025

ISBN: 9781963101058

About the Author

Susan Daitch graduated from Barnard College and attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program. She is the author of six novels and a collection of short stories. Her short fiction and essays have appeared in GuernicaTabletTin HouseMcSweeney’s, Bomb, Conjunctions, The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Fiction, and elsewhere. Susan’s work was the subject of a Review of Contemporary Fiction, along with that of David Foster Wallace, and William Vollman. Her first  novel,  L.C., was  a  recipient  of  an  NEA  heritage  award  and  a  Lannan  Foundation  grant. Fall Out, a novella, was published by Madras Press, all proceeds donated to Women For Afghan Women. She has also received two Vogelstein Foundation awards and a Fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts. Her novel, Siege of Comedians was listed as one of the best books of 2021 in The Wall Street Journal. One of her essays was listed as a Notable in the Best American Essays 2022. Her work has been translated into German, Spanish, and Italian.


Praise for Susan Daitch’s work

“…like Roberto Bolaño’s gothic “2666.” Yet for all its latent darkness, Siege of Comedians is inquisitive … exhibiting a boundless curiosity in its characters’ unusual professions, a delight in the uncanny ways that history connects and repeats itself and a quixotic sense of hope that whatever has been lost to time might, one day, be found and restored.” – Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

Best Books of 2021, Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

“With shades of Umberto Eco and Paul Auster, this brilliant, addictive adventure novel is about the search for a mythical lost city located somewhere in modern-day Iran. As a succession of explorers and shady characters dig deeper into the landscape, the ancient secret of Suolucidir is gradually revealed. This is brainy, escapist fiction at its best.”–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“One of the most intelligent and attentive writers at work in the US today.”–David Foster Wallace

“The author’s prose is rich with winking allusions and sendups of modern tomb-raiding tropes, down to an explorer with ‘a long stiff braid down her back.'”–The New Yorker

“Daitch’s ebullient latest (after The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir) uses genre conventions as a jumping-off point for offbeat explorations in three interlocking novellas. Throughout, Daitch finds stimulating connections and writes with sharp irony and joy. This offers delights on every page.” Publishers Weekly

” . . . cerebral, satirical, and entertaining archaeological thriller . . . this richly crafted and handsomely written novel rewards rereading.”–David Cooper, New York Journal of Books

“It’s always a delight to discover a voice as original as Susan Daitch’s.”–Salman Rushdie

“In The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir, history is revealed as ghost and prankster, archaeological remnant, information feed. This search for a vanished city takes in rare book rooms and obituaries, travel records, borders drawn and redrawn by war, boxes of records from a sanatorium where Kafka stayed, a statuette of Disney’s Aladdin, and quotes from Ignatz Mouse and Samuel Johnson. Where is the city? Where are we? We are lost, and will one day be someone else’s Suolucidir, at best. In the meantime, Daitch’s latest is a beguiling and virtuoso companion to our inevitable end: a novel that wrenches, sentence by fine sentence, some order from the chaos, while never shortchanging the chaos itself.”—Mark Doten, author of The Infernal

“One of the most intelligent and attentive writers at work in the US today.”–David Foster Wallace

“Susan Daitch has written a literary barnburner of epic proportions. The question buried at the core of The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir is one of empirical—or is the imperial?—knowledge itself. Her labyrinthine tale of archeological derring-do calls to mind both 1984 and 2666, and does so by looking backward in time as well as forward. It is also utterly original, the work of a visionary writer with an artistic sensibility all her own.”—Andrew Ervin, author of Burning Down George Orwell’s House

“Susan Daitch’s The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir is a daring undertaking, the creation of an ancient land of fantastic proportions, its borders touching other countries we think we know while still remaining elusive and mysterious. This is a novel of archeology and history, of mythology and empire, powered by an undeniable call to adventure and a deep yearning for understanding, written by a novelist who manages to surprise on nearly every page.”—Matt Bell, author of Scrapper