Synopses & Reviews
In John Crowley's new novel, he tells a tale of tremendous scope and beauty, set in a time when a writer's words -- especially forbidden ones -- could be powerful enough to change the course of history.
In 1962, at a large college in the Midwest, a young woman with a troubled recent history registers for a class -- a class that is to be taught by an exiled Russian poet. A writer herself, Kit Malone is drawn to Innokenti Falin, as he is called. The two forge a friendship that develops into something more: He asks her to help translate his work.
With the tension of the cold war accelerating toward a crisis in Cuba, the atmosphere on campus becomes contentious. Meanwhile, working on each poem with Falin, Kit finds herself able to face the secrets that made her swear never to write her own poetry again. And as the summer slips away, a delicate love grows between two displaced people.
It will not be until years later, though, that Kit will realize what really happened on the last night she spent with Falin, while the country held its breath against the threat of war.
"Crowley is a master of ominous ambiguity....Ultimately, this is a frustrating book, but for all the right reasons. Its crisis remains slightly out of phase, strangely muted like an evocative metaphor that refuses to disrobe its meaning." Christian Science Monitor
About the Author
John Crowley is the author of the novels Daemonomania; Love and Sleep; Aegypt; Little, Big; The Deep; Beasts; and Engine Summer, as well as a collection of novellas titled Novelty. A recipient of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, he is an adjunct professor at Yale University. He lives with his family in northern Massachusetts.