Open Letter Books, 9781934824368, 506pp.
Publication Date: October 23, 2012
"One of the most prominent names in modern Russian literature."--Publishers Weekly
Day after day the Russian asylum-seekers sit across from the interpreter and Peter--the Swiss officers who guard the gates to paradise--and tell of the atrocities they've suffered, or that they've invented, or heard from someone else. These stories of escape, war, and violence intermingle with the interpreter's own reading: a his-tory of an ancient Persian war; letters sent to his son "Nebuchadnezzasaurus," ruler of a distant, imaginary childhood empire; and the diaries of a Russian singer who lived through Russia's wars and revolutions in the early part of the twentieth century, and eventually saw the Soviet Union's dissolution.
Mikhail Shishkin's Maidenhair is an instant classic of Russian literature. It bravely takes on the eternal questions--of truth and fiction, of time and timeless-ness, of love and war, of Death and the Word--and is a movingly luminescent expression of the pain of life and its uncountable joys.
Mikhail Shishkin is one of Russia's most prominent and respected contemporary writers. When Maidenhair was published in 2005, it was awarded both the National Bestseller Prize and the Big Book Prize.
Marian Schwartz is a prize-winning translator of Russian. The winner of a Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Heldt Translation Prize, Schwartz has translated classic literary works by Nina Berberova, Yuri Olesha, and Mikhail Bulgakov.