Synopses & Reviews
A sweeping transcontinental novel of secrets and lies buried within a single family
Thirty-two-year-old Gabriel Glover arrives in St. Petersburg to find his mother dead in her apartment. Reeling from grief, Gabriel and his twin sister, Isabella, arrange the funeral without contacting their father, Nicholas, a brilliant and manipulative libertine. Unknown to the twins, their mother had long ago abandoned a son, Arkady, a pitiless Russian predator now determined to claim his birthright. Aided by an ex-seminarian whose heroin addiction is destroying him, Arkady sets out to find the siblings and uncover the dark secret hidden from them their entire lives.
Winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and long-listed for the Man Booker Prize, Pravda is a darkly funny, compulsively readable, and hauntingly beautiful chronicle of discovery and loss, love and loyalty, and the destructive legacy of deceit.
"Docx's second novel (after The Calligrapher) wrings out all the theatrics to be had from unhappy urban-dwelling twins, their sexually voracious father and dead Russian mother. Twins Gabriel and Isabella Glover, both 32 and leading lackluster lives she at a New York PR firm, he the editor in London of Self-Help! magazine see another crack form in their perennially tortured existences when their mother, Maria, who defected to marry their British father, dies alone in St. Petersburg. (Their despised father, Nicholas, meanwhile, dabbles in art, decadence and self-important interior monologues in Paris.) All are unaware of an additional family member: Arkady Artamenkov, their mother's first son, who had been kept afloat by Maria's financial assistance and the guiding hand of his junkie friend, Henry Whey. After the checks stop, Henry hatches a plan to send Arkady to plead for money from the family that doesn't know he exists. Though Docx's prose can get dangerously overheated ('Give me the sincerity of nakedness and the honesty of desire, O God, and deliver me from the turgid bourgeoisie and all their favorite phrases'), the crushing atmosphere will draw in fans of dark Euro-fiction." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"As in his previous book, the final twist is a stunner, both totally unexpected and carefully prepared for. Longlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize, and with good reason: well written, vigorously plotted and perceptive about human nature." Kirkus Reviews
"Though Docx's prose veers out of control at times...he manages to elevate this most dysfunctional family to the level of international intrigue. Caustic, hip, and highly recommended." Library Journal
Inspired by the author's own family history, Pravda is a haunting chronicle of suspicion and loss, love and loyalty, and the destructive legacy of deceit.
Thirty-two-year-old Gabriel Clarke arrives in St. Petersburg from London to find his mother dead in her apartment. Reeling from grief, Gabriel and his twin, Isabella, bury their mother and struggle to make sense of their loss. Unknown to either, their mother had long ago abandoned a son, Arkady, now an utterly amoral Russian predator determined to claim his birthright. Aided by an ex-seminarian and heroin addict whose addiction is destroying him, Arkady tracks down the twins and uncovers the shocking secrets hidden from them their entire lives.
About the Author
Edward Docx has been literary editor and Sunday columnist for the London Express and, most recently, a satirical columnist for the London Times. He appears frequently on British television and radio as a cultural critic. He has interviewed many eminent writers and was the principal consultant and commentator on the BBC World Service series for Bob Dylan's sixtieth birthday. Born in 1972, he is a graduate of Cambridge University. He is at work on his second novel.