The Goose Fritz (Paperback)
New Vessel Press, 9781939931641, 322pp.
Publication Date: March 19, 2019
--The Wall Street Journal
"Lebedev's characters seek ways to cut the umbilical cord with the past."
--Svetlana Alexievich, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature
This revelatory novel shows why Karl Ove Knausgaard has likened its celebrated Russian author to an "indomitable ... animal that won't let go of something when it gets its teeth into it." The book tells the story of a young Russian named Kirill, the sole survivor of a once numerous clan of German origin, who delves relentlessly into the unresolved past. His ancestor, Balthasar Schwerdt, migrated to the Russian Empire in the early 1800s, bringing with him the practice of alternative medicine and becoming captive to an erratic nobleman who had supplied dwarves, hunchbacks from Africa, and magicians to entertain Catherine the Great. Kirill's investigation takes us through centuries of turmoil during which none of the German's nine children or their descendants can escape their adoptive country's cruel fate. Intent on uncovering buried mysteries, Kirill searches archives and cemeteries across Europe, while pressing witnesses for keys to understanding. The Goose Fritz illuminates both personal and political history in a passion-filled family saga about an often confounding country that has long fascinated the world.