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The Dream Life of Sukhanov

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The Dream Life of Sukhanov Cover

ISBN13: 9780143038405
ISBN10: 0143038400
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Olga Grushin's astonishing literary debut has won her comparisons with everyone from Gogol to Nabokov. A virtuoso study in betrayal and its consequences, it explores — really, colonizes — the consciousness of Anatoly Sukhanov, who many years before abandoned the precarious existence of an underground artist for the perks of a Soviet apparatchik. But, at the age of 56, his perfect life is suddenly disintegrating. Buried dreams return to haunt him. New political alignments threaten to undo him. Vaulting effortlessly from the real to the surreal and from privilege to paranoia, The Dream Life of Sukhanov is a darkly funny, demonically entertaining novel.

Review:

"Even for a man on 'the very best terms with the very best people,' the Soviet Union on the eve of glasnost is a precarious place. So it goes for bitterly compelling antihero Anatoly Pavlovich Sukhanov, richly crafted in this debut novel by Russian migr Grushin. After starting out as an avant-garde artist, Sukhanov marries the daughter of an iconic Soviet painter, becomes a critic and quickly rises to editor-in-chief of Art of the World, an influential journal devoted to disparaging the Western art that once inspired him. An enviable Moscow apartment, a dacha and a personal driver follow, but 12 years later, Sukhanov can no longer write, his wife and son know him for the sellout he is, and Gorbachev's ascension may mean the end of his sinecure. When a man claiming to be his long-lost cousin comes to visit, Sukhanov finds himself sleeping on his couch, where, as dreams of his former life haunt him, his past may catch up with him for real. Grushin, who has served as former President Carter's personal interpreter and as an editor at Harvard's Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, offers a powerful and richly detailed examination of late Soviet society's harsh confinements — even for those who have all the right connections." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Seldom has a first novel so perfectly captured a historical moment that seems most real because it resonates with the disaster of an individual life." Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"Grushin attracts the reader with evocations of places and people, even foods, that reflect the mingled sentimentality and abhorrence of the willing exile from Moscow." New York Times

Review:

"In well-honed prose with vivid imagery, Grushin provides a portrait of a culture, interplaying art with politics in twentieth-century Russia, and dealing throughout with the universal subjects of love and truth." Booklist

Review:

"Brilliant work from a newcomer who's already an estimable American writer." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Though an absorbing chronicle of life at the end of the Soviet era, this is really much more — a meditation on society, art, truth, and life." Library Journal

Synopsis:

Olga Grushin’s astonishing literary debut has won her comparisons with everyone from Gogol to Nabokov. A virtuoso study in betrayal and its consequences, it explores—really, colonizes—the consciousness of Anatoly Sukhanov, who many years before abandoned the precarious existence of an underground artist for the perks of a Soviet apparatchik. But, at the age of 56, his perfect life is suddenly disintegrating. Buried dreams return to haunt him. New political alignments threaten to undo him. Vaulting effortlessly from the real to the surreal and from privilege to paranoia, The Dream Life of Sukhanov is a darkly funny, demonically entertaining novel.

Synopsis:

Nearly 25 years ago, Anatoly Sukhanov traded his precarious existence as a brilliant underground artist for the perks and comforts of a high-ranking Soviet apparatchik. Once he created art; now he censors it. Buried dreams return to haunt him, new political alignments in the Kremlin threaten to undo him, and he finds himself losing everything he sold his soul to gain.

About the Author

Olga Grushin was born in Moscow in 1971. She studied at the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow State University, and Emory University. Her short fiction has appeared in Partisan Review, Confrontation, The Massachusetts Review, and Art Times. This is her first novel. Grushin, who became an American citizen in 2002, lives in Washington, D.C.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Melwyk, January 5, 2010 (view all comments by Melwyk)
A beautiful first novel, this has dazzling shades of Nabokov and Bulgakov. Telling the tale of a Russian art critic who has shaped his whole life around the demands of The Party, the style of the narrative follows Sukhanov's mental state. As Russia opens up and Perestroika begins to change their society, Sukhanov begins to question the purpose of his self-sacrifice, and to wonder whether stifling his artistic convictions was worth it after all.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780143038405
Author:
Grushin, Olga
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20070231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
7.72x5.16x.75 in. .54 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Dream Life of Sukhanov Sale Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143038405 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Even for a man on 'the very best terms with the very best people,' the Soviet Union on the eve of glasnost is a precarious place. So it goes for bitterly compelling antihero Anatoly Pavlovich Sukhanov, richly crafted in this debut novel by Russian migr Grushin. After starting out as an avant-garde artist, Sukhanov marries the daughter of an iconic Soviet painter, becomes a critic and quickly rises to editor-in-chief of Art of the World, an influential journal devoted to disparaging the Western art that once inspired him. An enviable Moscow apartment, a dacha and a personal driver follow, but 12 years later, Sukhanov can no longer write, his wife and son know him for the sellout he is, and Gorbachev's ascension may mean the end of his sinecure. When a man claiming to be his long-lost cousin comes to visit, Sukhanov finds himself sleeping on his couch, where, as dreams of his former life haunt him, his past may catch up with him for real. Grushin, who has served as former President Carter's personal interpreter and as an editor at Harvard's Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, offers a powerful and richly detailed examination of late Soviet society's harsh confinements — even for those who have all the right connections." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Seldom has a first novel so perfectly captured a historical moment that seems most real because it resonates with the disaster of an individual life."
"Review" by , "Grushin attracts the reader with evocations of places and people, even foods, that reflect the mingled sentimentality and abhorrence of the willing exile from Moscow."
"Review" by , "In well-honed prose with vivid imagery, Grushin provides a portrait of a culture, interplaying art with politics in twentieth-century Russia, and dealing throughout with the universal subjects of love and truth."
"Review" by , "Brilliant work from a newcomer who's already an estimable American writer."
"Review" by , "Though an absorbing chronicle of life at the end of the Soviet era, this is really much more — a meditation on society, art, truth, and life."
"Synopsis" by ,
Olga Grushin’s astonishing literary debut has won her comparisons with everyone from Gogol to Nabokov. A virtuoso study in betrayal and its consequences, it explores—really, colonizes—the consciousness of Anatoly Sukhanov, who many years before abandoned the precarious existence of an underground artist for the perks of a Soviet apparatchik. But, at the age of 56, his perfect life is suddenly disintegrating. Buried dreams return to haunt him. New political alignments threaten to undo him. Vaulting effortlessly from the real to the surreal and from privilege to paranoia, The Dream Life of Sukhanov is a darkly funny, demonically entertaining novel.

"Synopsis" by , Nearly 25 years ago, Anatoly Sukhanov traded his precarious existence as a brilliant underground artist for the perks and comforts of a high-ranking Soviet apparatchik. Once he created art; now he censors it. Buried dreams return to haunt him, new political alignments in the Kremlin threaten to undo him, and he finds himself losing everything he sold his soul to gain.
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