The Invention of Exile (Paperback)

By Vanessa Manko

Penguin Books, 9780143127680, 304pp.

Publication Date: July 14, 2015

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (8/13/2014)
Hardcover (8/14/2014)

List Price: 16.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

September 2014 Indie Next List

“Manko's debut novel is the beautifully written story of Austin Voronkov, a Russian inventor who immigrates to the U.S., but, through a series of unfortunate events, finds himself to be a man without a country. Filled with poignant insights on what it means to belong, The Invention of Exile gives readers a sweeping, masterfully told story spanning continents and years, all expressed through the tender voice of this determined immigrant and engineer, who relentlessly works to reverse his fate and return home.”
— Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
View the List


" An] impressive first novel." --The New York Times

Austin Voronkov is many things. He is an engineer, an inventor, and, in 1913, an immigrant from Russia to Bridgeport, Connecticut. When Austin is wrongly accused of attending anarchist gatherings, he is forced to flee with his new bride, Julia, to Russia, and then to Mexico. While Julia and their children are able to return to the United States, Austin becomes indefinitely stranded in Mexico City. He keeps a daily correspondence with Julia, and they each exchange their hopes and fears for the future as they struggle to remain a family across a distance of two countries. Austin and Julia's struggles build to a crisis and a heartrending resolution in this dazzling, sweeping debut. The Invention of Exile is a deeply moving testament to the enduring power of family and the meaning of home.

About the Author

VANESSA MANKO earned her MFA in creative writing from Hunter College. She has taught writing at New York University and the State University of New York at Purchase. Originally from Brookfield, Connecticut, Manko now lives in Brooklyn.