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I first came across this author with Confessions of a Lapsed Standard-Bearer and wondered why I had not come across him before. His language is exquisite; beautiful, lyrical and powerful as he contrasts simple lives with the horrors of war. In this one he contrasts the “drabness” of Russian with the “colour” of France. It’s not an easy read, certainly you must persevere, take it slowly and then I am sure you will be drawn into its magic.
Comparison: Sandor Marai, W G Sebald, James Meek.
On the edge of the Siberian steppes, a young boy grows up listening to his French grandmother`s stories of France just before the Great War - a nostalgic portrait of a vanished world, but a bewitching one during the Soviet regime. Gradually the story emerges of his grandmother`s subsequent life in Russia, through the horrors of the revolution and World War II. Torn between two cultures, he eventually leaves after the fall of the Berlin Wall for Paris, and discovers how far his imagination led him from reality. But he stays, until a letter arrives containing an astonishing revelation.
'Once in a while, there comes a book that captivates critics and public alike. Andreï makine’s autobiographical novel is such a book...Its subtle blend of memory and imagination is reminiscent of Proust' - Susha Guppy, Independent on Sunday
'Beautifully written...Makine's wonderful economy of image and phrase convey far more than one could think possible about the Russian soul' - Anthony Beevor, Daily Telegraph
'Superb...one of the most hauntingly beautiful books I've read' - Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
Publication date: 28/12/2006
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
|Publication date:||28th December 2006|
|Publisher:||Hodder & Stoughton General Division|
|Genres:||eBook Favourites, Literary Fiction,|
|Categories:||Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),|
AndreÃ¯ Makine was born in Siberia in 1957, and taught at the University of Novgorod. In 1987 he left the Soviet Union and sought asylum in Paris, where he lived rough before finding teaching work. His first novel was published in France in 1990, once heâ€™d pretended heâ€™d only translated it from another Russianâ€™s original. His third was published under his own name and Olga ArbÃ©linaâ€™s Crime is his fifth.Photograph Jacques Sassier /Â© Ã‰ditions GallimardMore About Andrei Makine