The summer of ’47. In the sleepy town of Villiers-la-Forêt, roughly an hour from Paris, the peaceful radiance of the day is interrupted by the discovery that, along a nearby riverbank, the body of a man has washed up, a gaping wound in his skull. Beside him rests a beautiful, nearly bare-breasted woman, her dress soaked and in tatters. An accident or foul play? A crime of passion? Soon there are almost as many speculations and theories as there are townspeople. The woman, it turns out, is a Russian princess, Olga Arbyelina, a refugee from the Bolshevik revolution who in the 1930s had settled in town along with many of her compatriots. Rumor was that Olga's husband, a dashing prince given to gambling and revels, had deserted her some years after the couple's arrival in France, leaving her alone to care for their young son. About the victim, also a Russian refugee, little is known: many years Olga's elder, he was a taciturn, rather coarse, slightly ridiculous man name Sergei Golets, thought dismissively to be a former horse butcher. What on earth could have brought these two unlikely souls together? Makine meticulously re-creates Olga's past—her enchanted childhood; her pampered youth and fevered, transitory embrace of the revolution; her arduous flight toward freedom; her encounter with the dashing White Army officer who saved her life; her marriage and arrival in France; the birth of her adored son. Love has its limits, its limitations and boundaries. But in a woman of great passion, what do such limits mean when you know that each day may be the last for your son?
A son drugs his mother so he can have sex with her. The woman, an exiled Russian princess in 1940s France, plays along, pretending to be unconscious, because the boy is a hemophiliac and will die soon. By the author of Dreams of My Russian Summers.
In World War II in Andreï Makine’s Historiographic Metafiction Helena Duffy probes the tension between the Franco-Russian novelist’s commitment to postmodern aesthetics and philosophy of history, and his narrative of Soviet involvement in the struggle against Hitler.
The end of World War II led to increased interest in multicultural concerns and a flourishing of literary and artistic endeavors. It was also a time of decolonization and the emergence of new nations and cultures clamoring for recognition and respect. The political circumstances following World War II exposed many people to other cultures. This reference discusses the experiences of writers active since 1945 who were shaped by cultures other than their own. Included are alphabetically arranged entries for more than 100 writers, including Chinua Achebe, W.H. Auden, Mircea Eliade, Jamaica Kincaid, Salman Rushdie, and Elie Wiesel. The profiled authors either lived in another culture voluntarily or were wrenched from one culture into another. Each entry includes a brief biography, a discussion of multicultural themes in the writer's works, a review of criticism, and primary and secondary bibliographies. The volume closes with a selected, general bibliography. The reference demonstrates the value of multicultural experiences in the lives of writers around the world and fosters a greater appreciation of cultural diversity.
This much-needed guide to translated literature offers readers the opportunity to hear from, learn about, and perhaps better understand our shrinking world from the perspective of insiders from many cultures and traditions. • Over 1,000 annotated contemporary world fiction titles, featuring author's name; title; translator; publisher and place of publication; genre/literary style/story type; an annotation; related works by the author; subject keywords; and original language • 9 introductory overviews about classic world fiction titles • Extensive bibliographical essays about fiction traditions in other countries • 5 indexes: annotated authors, annotated titles, translators, nations, and subjects/keywords
In the immense virgin pine forests of Siberia, where the snows of winter are vast and endless, sits the little village of Svetlaya. Once, the village had been larger, more prosperous, but time and the pendulum of history had reduced it by the 1970s to no more than a cluster of izbas. But for three young men—the handsome young Alyosha, the crippled Utkin, and the older, dashing Samurai—little is needed to construct their own special universe. Despite the harshness of the environment and their meager resources, the three adolescents form a tight band of friendship and dream of another life, a world of passion and love. And when they learn one day that a Western film is being shown in the closest real city, they trek for hours on snowshoes to see it. Through that film, the boys’ lives are changed forever. Written from the perspective of twenty years after these youthful events, Once Upon the River Love follows the destinies of these three young idealists up to the present day, to the boardwalks of Brighton Beach and the jungles of Central America. With the same mastery of plot and prose that marked the author’s Dreams of My Russian Summers, this novel demonstrates Makine’s remarkable ability to recreate the past with such precision and beauty that the present becomes all the more poignant.
With this novel, Andreï Makine, whose work has been compared to that of Balzac, Chekhov, Pasternak, and Proust, brings to a stunning conclusion his epic trilogy that began with Dreams of My Russian Summers and continued with Requiem for a Lost Empire. The novel opens in 1942, in a burning, gutted Stalingrad, where the German and Russian armies are locked in a struggle to the death. Amid these ruins, a French pilot and a nurse, also French, are engaged in a passionate affair that each knows will be hopelessly brief. The pilot, Jacques Dorme, was shot down two years earlier. Imprisoned and sent east to a German POW camp, Dorme made a daring escape and crossed Germany stealthily by night until he arrived in an already devastated Russia, where, having proved his mettle as a pilot, he joined a Russian squadron stationed near Stalingrad. But during the brief time they have together there, the love between Dorme and Alexandra builds and blossoms into a relationship they both know comes but once in a lifetime. Several decades later, the narrator—a Russian exiled in France, a war orphan haunted by his dark childhood and obsessively searching for his roots—travels back to his native land, where in the icy and treacherous wastelands of Siberia he attempts to discover how his life and that of Jacques Dorme are inextricably intertwined.
Locked behind the Iron Curtain, a young boy grows up bewitched by his French grandmother’s memories of Paris before the Great War. On her balcony overlooking the Siberian steppes, Charlotte Lemonnier fires her grandson’s imagination with tales of the great flood in 1910, of Proust playing tennis in Neuilly and the President dying in the arms of his mistress, of avenues lined with chestnut trees and elegant cafes. Charlotte’s vision of a paradise lost, though, is overlaid by her subsequent experience. As her grandson grows older, he learns how this remarkable woman survived the Russian revolution’s aftermath, Stalin’s purges and the horrors of the Second World War, gaining from her a portrait of the country drawn with an outsider’s eye. Yet for all the monstrosities of his native land, he realises he is proud to be Russian. Torn between two cultures, as an adolescent he turns his back on all things French. Then in his twenties he abandons the Soviet Union and eventually reaches Paris – where a startling revelation awaits him. This luminous, haunting novel traces a sentimental and intellectual journey that embraces the dramatic history of this century.
Jilted by his girlfriend and disillusioned by modern France, the writer Shutov revisits St Petersburg after twenty years in exile, hoping to reconnect with his roots and the woman he loved in his youth. But she, and the brash new Russia that greets him, a
Pursuing a musical career despite the persecution of his performer parents during Stalin's late 1930s reign of terror, young Alexi Berg is forced to flee into a violent world when his parents are arrested.
On the far eastern borders of the Soviet Union, in the sunset of Stalin's reign, soldiers are training for a war that could end all wars, for in the atomic age man has sown the seeds of his own destruction. Among them is Pavel Gartsev, a reservist. Orphaned, scarred by the last great war and unlucky in love, he is an instant victim for the apparatchiks and ambitious careerists who thrive within the Red Army's ranks. Assigned to a search party composed of regulars and reservists, charged with the recapture of an escaped prisoner from a nearby gulag, Gartsev finds himself one of an unlikely quintet of cynics, sadists and heroes, embarked on a challenging manhunt through the Siberian taiga. But the fugitive, capable, cunning and evidently at home in the depths of these vast forests, proves no easy prey. As the pursuit goes on, and the pursuers are struck by a shattering discovery, Gartsev confronts both the worst within himself and the tantalising prospect of another, totally different life. Translated from the French by Geoffrey Strachan
Love for another person. Love for humanity as a whole. Are the two compatible or mutually exclusive? In his most ambitious novel since Dreams of My Russian Summers, Andreï Makine takes us into the heart of Africa. His hero is Elias Almeida, a black revolutionary whose father was killed when Elias was still a child, and whose mother, to feed him, was forced to prostitute herself. Saved from death by a Catholic priest, Elias becomes a brilliant pupil destined for greatness. However, the memory of his parents turns him into an important cog in the worldwide revolutionary movement, sending him to Cuba and the Soviet Union to be trained for espionage and sabotage. He begins in his native Angola, still struggling to liberate itself from the colonial yoke, and moves to other political hot spots. But what happens when a black revolutionary dedicated to bettering the world falls in love with a white woman who wants only to live a peaceful, simple life?
Every summer, young Andrei visits his grandmother, Charlotte Lemmonier, whom he loves dearly. In a dusty village overlooking the vast Russian steppes, she captivates her grandson and the other children of the village with wondrous tales—watching Proust play tennis in Neuilly, Tsar Nicholas II’s visit to Paris, French president Felix Faure dying in the arms of his mistress. But from his mysterious grandmother, Andrei also learns of a Russia he has never known: a country of famine and misery, brutal injustice, and the hopeless chaos of war. Enthralled, he weaves her stories into his own secret universe of memory and dream. She creates for him a vivid portrait of the France of her childhood, a distant Atlantis far more elegant, carefree, and stimulating than Russia in the 1970s and ‘80s. Her warm, artful memories of her homeland and of books captivate Andrei. Absorbed in this vision, he becomes an outsider in his own country, and eventually a restless traveler around Europe. Dreams of My Russian Summers is an epic full of passion and tenderness, pain and heartbreak, mesmerizing in every way.
A moving, utterly captivating love story: Romeo and Juliet as if told by Chekhov or Dostoevsky. In a remote Russian village a woman waits, as she has waited for almost three decades, for the man she loves to return. Near the end of World War II, nineteen-year-old Boris Koptek left the village to join the Russian army, swearing to the sixteen-year-old love of his life, Vera, that as soon as he returned they would marry. Young Boris, who with his engineering battalion fought his way almost to Berlin, was reported killed in action crossing the Spree River. But Vera refuses to believe he is dead, and each day, all these years later, faithfully awaits his return. Then one day the narrator arrives in the village, a twenty-six-year-old native of Leningrad, who is fascinated both by the still-beautiful woman and her exemplary story, and little by little he falls madly in love with her. But how can he compete with a ghost that will not die? Beautifully, delicately, but always powerfully, Andreï Makine delineates in masterly prose the movements and madness that constitute the dance of pure love. Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.
In a snowbound railway station deep in the Soviet Union, a stranded passenger comes across an old man playing the piano in the dark, silent tears rolling down his cheeks. Once on the train to Moscow he begins to tell his story: a tale of loss, love and survival that movingly illustrates the strength of human resilience.
In Soviet Russia the desire for freedom is also a desire for the freedom to love. Lovers live as outlaws, traitors to the collective spirit, and love is more intense when it feels like an act of resistance. Now entering middle age, an orphan recalls the fleeting moments that have never left him - a scorching day in a blossoming orchard with a woman who loves another; a furtive, desperate affair in a Black Sea resort; the bunch of snowdrops a crippled childhood friend gave him to give to his lover. As the dreary Brezhnev era gives way to Perestroika and the fall of Communism, the orphan uncovers the truth behind the life of Dmitri Ress, whose tragic fate embodies the unbreakable bond between love and freedom.