Before the man lost his sight he read this story in a magazine. A group of explorers came upon a community of parrots speaking the language of a society that had been wiped out in a recent catastrophe. Astonished by this discovery they put the parrots in cages and sent them home so that linguists might record what remained of the lost language. But the parrots already traumatised by the devastation they had recently witnessed died on the way. Wondering if unlike these hapless parrots he has any wisdom to leave to the world one-hundred-year-old Ulrich embarks on an epic armchair journey through the twists and turns of his country's turbulent century - and through his own century of lost love and failed chemistry - and finds his way to an astonishing epiphany of redemption and enlightenment. Set in Bulgaria a country that like the author himself has belonged sometimes to Asia and sometimes to Europe Solo is a book about lost roots broken traditions and wasted ambitions - and the depths of lyricism by which human beings overcome those things.