Everything Flows

By Vasily Grossman; Robert Chandler (Translator); Elizabeth Chandler (Translator)
(New York Review of Books, Paperback, 9781590173282, 253pp.)

Publication Date: December 1, 2009

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Description

A New York Review Books Original

Everything Flows is Vasily Grossman’s final testament, written after the Soviet authorities suppressed his masterpiece, Life and Fate. The main story is simple: released after thirty years in the Soviet camps, Ivan Grigoryevich must struggle to find a place for himself in an unfamiliar world. But in a novel that seeks to take in the whole tragedy of Soviet history, Ivan’s story is only one among many. Thus we also hear about Ivan’s cousin, Nikolay, a scientist who never let his conscience interfere with his career, and Pinegin, the informer who got Ivan sent to the camps. Then a brilliant short play interrupts the narrative: a series of informers steps forward, each making excuses for the inexcusable things that he did—inexcusable and yet, the informers plead, in Stalinist Russia understandable, almost unavoidable. And at the core of the book, we find the story of Anna Sergeyevna, Ivan’s lover, who tells about her eager involvement as an activist in the Terror famine of 1932–33, which led to the deaths of three to five million Ukrainian peasants. Here Everything Flows attains an unbearable lucidity comparable to the last cantos of Dante’s Inferno.




About the Author
Vasily Grossman (1905-1964) was a major Soviet writer. His most important novel is "Life and Fate".

Robert Chandler is an award-winning poet and translator from Russian, French, and Greek. Among the writers he has translated from Russian are Alexander Pushkin, Nikolay Leskov, Vasily Grossman and Andrey Platonov. He is the co-editor of the Penguin Classics anthology" Russian Poetry from Pushkin to Brodsky" (2014). Penguin have also published his anthologies of Russian short stories and of Russian magic tales.

Elizabeth Chandler has written picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, and young adult romances (including the popular Kissed By an Angel trilogy) under a variety of names. As Mary Claire Helldorfer, she lives in Baltimore, MD, and loves stories, cats, baseball, and Bob—not necessarily in that order.


NPR
Friday, Mar 7, 2014

Anthony Marra recommends Everything Flows by Vasily Grossman as a way to understand the events unfolding in Ukraine. More at NPR.org

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NPR
Friday, Feb 28, 2014

While writer Anthony Marra sees literary links between Ukraine's past and present turmoil, conflict in Kiev and the arrest of the infamous "El Chapo" remind novelist Zachary Lazar of a Mexican author. More at NPR.org

NPR Audio Player Requires Flash Upgrade: Please upgrade your plug-in to view this content.

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