Synopses & Reviews
Nina Gabrielyan's happy amazement at the unceasing wonders of the ordinary world around her is irresistible. Moving from the real to the surreal, she invites the reader to come with her into these two realities, which eventually turn out to be one and the same, a place where the magic and the mundane merge, a reality that may at times be tragic or ridiculous, but is always exciting.
The novel Master of the Grass is the life story of a man passionately in love with himself and at odds with the world. As a young boy he is fascinated by his own reflection. He repeatedly attempts, as it were, to enter the land beyond the looking glass, trying to reach the other self in the mirror. What begins as a childish game turns into genuine Narcissism, damaging his own life and that of his young wife.
In "The Lilac Dressing Gown" an intense young girl takes refuge in her imagination especially every time she sneaks into her mother's wardrobe to try on her elegant dressing gown. In "The Studio Apartment" a lonely woman communicates with her apartment as though it were a living being. The apartment is her own micro-cosmos that comes alive with each new visitor. In her imagination the apartment resists any improvements, as if it possessed its own inherent essence, and reacts in very different ways to each new pretender to her heart.
"Nina Gabrielyan belongs to the literary land inhabited by Hoffmann, Kafka and Gogol.... She is a virtuoso analyst of nightmares and children's dreams. She feels at home in the fragile space between dream and reality, penetrating such depths of consciousness, where neither daylight nor traditional psychology can reach. Her imagery stays in your mind long after you've finished reading her.... Her poetic and profound stories are about the deep and secret bond existing among all objects and phenomena in this world." -Ludmila Ulitskaya, winner of the Russian Booker Prize
New fiction from a Russian artist and writer whose work explores the space between dream and reality.
Armenian author Nina Gabrielyan belongs to the literary land inhabited by Hoffmann, Kafka and Gogol... Happy amazement at the world...
Owner of the Grass is about a disaster befalling a man in love with his own mirror reflection. Moving from the real to the surreal, she invites us to come with her into these two realities, which eventually turn out to be one, a place where the magic and the mundane merge.
About the Author
Nina Gabrielyan, an Armenian by birth, grew up in Moscow. A leading feminist and noted scholar, she writes on women and culture. She has two collections of poems and two collections of stories to her credit as well as numerous translations of Armenian poetry from the Middle Ages to the present.
Also a distinguished painter, Gabrielyan brings her art to her stories whose vivid descriptions of people and objects reflect her abiding fascination with the miracle of transformation and the "fragile carapace that separates us from death".