Synopses & Reviews
Tanya is a typical teenager living with her bookish professor mother in a cramped Soviet apartment. She is obsessed with Dostoyevksy, and noticing that he always portrays his mistress and muse in his novels-never his wife-she determines to become a companion to a great writer. Her opportunity comes when, as a college graduate newly emigrated to America, she attends a Manhattan bookstore reading by Mark Schneider, a Significant New York Novelist. Tanya quickly moves in with Mark, ready to dazzle in bed, to serve and inspire . . . if only he would spend a little more time writing. But as she struggles to better understand her role as Muse, Tanya also learns more than she expected about the destiny she has imagined for herself.
A touching and very funny novel in the great tradition of Russian realism, Memoirs of a Muse is also a lively meditation on the mysteries and absurdities of artistic inspiration.
Humorous, charming, and written with the same beguiling grace and vividness as her story collection "There Are Jews in My House," Vapnyar's first novel is a poignant and comic story about a delightfully sincere, modern-day muse.
About the Author
Lara Vapnyar's book of short stories, There Are Jews in My House (2003), was nominated for the L.A. Times Book Prize and the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, and was the winner of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture's 2004 Prize for Jewish Fiction by Emerging Writers. Vapnyar, whose work has appeared in Open City, The New York Times, and The New Yorker, emigrated from Russia in 1994. She lives on Staten Island with her husband and two children.