The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
By Vladimir Kozlov (Fiction Advocate: $18)
There is something to be said for seeing the world through the eyes of a child, and Kozlov (who happens to author an article in this issue of Russian Life) shows in this novel a gift for recreating a juvenile worldview – in particular the world as seen from Mogilev, Belorussia, as the Soviet Empire heads into its tailspin.
Briskly told through short, interconnected episodes, this is a work of autobiographical fiction that is full of rich, real (yes, sometimes obscene) dialogue and memorable scenes of a hardscrabble life on the periphery of empire. It evokes the sights and smells, sounds and language of that era when the Soviet Union was just cracking open, when a new world was dawning, and when the novel’s protagonist is coming of age.
A great read. Recommended.
Reviewed in Russian Life: May/June 2015