Synopses & Reviews
In a crumbling apartment building in post-Soviet Russia, there's a ghost who won't keep quiet.
Mircha fell from the roof and was never properly buried, so he sticks around to heckle the living: his wife, Azade; Olga, a disillusioned translator/censor for a military newspaper; Yuri, an army veteran who always wears an aviator's helmet; and Tanya, a student of hope, words, and color.
Tanya carries a notebook wherever she goes, recording her dreams of finding love and escaping her job at the All-Russia All-Cosmopolitan Museum, a place that holds a fantastic and terrible collection of art knockoffs created with the materials at hand, from foam to chewing gum, Popsicle sticks to tomato juice. When the museum's director hears of an American group seeking to fund art in Russia, it looks as if Tanya might get her chance at a better life, if she can only convince them of the collection's worth. Enlisting the help of her neighbors, Tanya scrambles to save her dreams, and along the way discovers that love may have been waiting in her own courtyard all along.
"Ochsner, a multiple award winner for her two story collections, has created a world where tenacity is key. She paints an impressionistic picture of the complex machine of life. For all fiction readers, especially those who enjoy magical realism." Library Journal
"I'll be brief: you should buy this book. It is packed with greatness." Christopher Frizzelle, The Stranger (Seattle)
"[A] strange, melancholy tale, more of a group portrait than a linear novel....Satirical yet never losing touch with deep emotion, Ochsner illuminates her forlorn characters with the same loving care with which Tanya creates her fake icons." The Boston Globe
"This odd, often funny novel reads like folklore. Set in a remote town in Siberia after the economic collapse of the Soviet Union, The Russian Dreambook of Color and Flight catalogs the dreams of ordinary people living in a decrepit apartment complex. The novel is at once a love story, a black comedy and a critique of life in the new Russia." The Dallas Morning News
In a crumbling apartment building in post-Soviet Russia, there s a ghost who won t keep quiet.
In post-Soviet Russia, Tanya carries a notebook wherever she goes, recording her observations and her dreams of finding love. As she scrambles to hold onto her dreams, along the way she discovers that love may have been waiting in her own courtyard all along.
A fable-like, magical debut in which the author takes readers into her characters' dreams, and memories, and hearts, and shows the resilience of human hope and imagination in even the most unlikely, post-Soviet surroundings.
About the Author
Gina Ochsner is the author of two collections of short stories, People I Wanted to Be and The Necessary Grace to Fall, both of which won the Oregon Book Award. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. She is a recipient of the Flannery O'Connor Award, an NEA grant and a Guggenheim, and the Raymond Carver Prize.