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The new book from one of the most prize-winning young writers in the US – nine dazzling interwoven stories about family, sacrifice, the legacy of war and the redemptive power of art

A Granta Best Young American Novelist

1930s Leningrad: a failed portrait artist employed by Soviet censors must erase political dissenters from official images and artworks. One day, he receives an antique painting. The mystery behind this painting threads together each of the stories that follow, where we meet a Siberian beauty queen, a young soldier in the battlefields of Chechnya, the Head of the Grozny Tourist Bureau, a ballerina performing for the camp director of a gulag and many others.

Reviews

Shares much with David Mitchell's expansive Cloud Atlas, and it wears its blend of dry humour and tragedy very well... impressive

Observer, Ben East

This book will burn itself into your heart. It's a collection of interlocking short stories that stand alone but also fit together, piece by delicate piece, to form an astonishing whole... It's funny, moving and beautiful

New York Times

Masterful ... mesmerising ... Like Nabokov, Marra is a writer for whom essential truths are found in detail... The nine interlocking stories grip from the off with their dry tone and meticulously realised worlds of totalitarian life and its aftermath

Sarah Gilmartin, Irish Times

Gripping... painful and powerful, with welcome flashes of ironic humour, too

John Sunyer, Financial Times

Marra creates an unnerving story of a world, then and now, dominated by untouchable authorities that operate at every social level... a writer of intelligence, wit and sensitivity, adept at telling stories that entertain but also create the sensation that they are not so strange as fiction

George Berridge, Times Literary Supplement

A work of extraordinary confidence and empathy... a distinctive and heady fictional cocktail... thoroughly entertaining

Liam Hess, Literary Review

Marra’s sharp prose is alternatively ironic and poetic, giving a sympathetic voice to the most dispossessed characters…A memorable book on memory and how we try to remember’

Stephen Coulson, Lady

A very Russian nostalgia and sense of narrative resonate in this story of memories and how we remember, that runs from Stalin's purges to modern war-ravaged Chechnya. The lives of sympathetically voiced criminals, mercenaries, lovers and artists are interwoven in precisely crafted plotlines

Lady, Book of the Year

Addictive

Michelle Dean, Guardian

A superbly artful collection

BBC Culture

Remarkable... Marra is a gifted writer with the energy and the ambition to explore the lives of characters whose experiences and whose psyches might seem, until we read his work, so distant from our own. Reading his work is like watching the restoration — the reappearance, on the page — of those whom history has erased

Washington Post

Audacious... brilliant... ambitious and fearless

New York Times Book Review

Each story is a gem… almost unbearably moving

New York Times

Seamlessly narrated, with flashes of dark humour

International New York Times

Seamlessly narrated, with flashes of dark humour

International New York Times

Marra’s Russia is marked by both interconnection and darkly comic irony... the book’s brilliance and humor are laced with the somber feeling that the country is allergic to evolution... A powerful and melancholy vision of a nation with long memories and relentless turmoil

Kirkus

Marra’s Russia is marked by both interconnection and darkly comic irony... the book’s brilliance and humor are laced with the somber feeling that the country is allergic to evolution... A powerful and melancholy vision of a nation with long memories and relentless turmoil

Kirkus

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781784707255

    August 14, 2017

    Vintage

    336 pages

    RRP $22.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Trade Paperback

    9781781090480

    December 1, 2015

    Hogarth

    336 pages

    RRP $27.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781448138500

    August 4, 2016

    Vintage Digital

    336 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

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