Rights sold: Bulgaria - COLIBRI, China - Zhejiang Literature & Art, Croatia - VUKOVIC, Croatia – SYSPRINT, Denmark - GYLDENDAL, Estonia - TANAPAEV, Finland - TAMMI, France - GALLIMARD, Germany - VOLK UND WELT (LUCHTENHAND LUEBBE), Great Britain - VICTOR GOLLANZ (ORION MASS MARKET), Greece - EKDOSEIS KASTANIOTIS, Hungary - MAGVETO, Iran - Houpaa Books, Israel - HA KIBBUTZ, Italy - FRASSINELLI, Japan - Shinchosha, Korea - MARCO POLO, Macedonia - Publisher DOOEL, The Netherlands - DE GEUS, Portugal - RELOGIO D’AGUA, Romania - S.C HUMANITAS S.A, Slovakia - SLOVART, Spain - LUMEN RANDOM HOUSE, Sweden – BAZAR, ERSATZ, Turkey - ITHAKI, USA – SCHOCKEN, USA - KNOPF, World Arabic - AL MADA
August 1991. In a sweltering New York City apartment, a group of Russian émigrés gathers round the deathbed of an artist named Alik, a charismatic character beloved by them all,
especially the women who take turns nursing him as he fades from this world. Their reminiscences of the dying man and of their lives in Russia are punctuated by debates and squabbles: Whom did Alik love most? Should he be baptized before he dies, as his alcoholic wife, Nina, desperately wishes, or be reconciled to the faith of his birth by a rabbi who happens to be on hand? And what will be the meaning for them of the Yeltsin putsch, which is happening across the world in their long-lost Moscow but also right before their eyes on CNN?
"A deft, economical portrait of an engaging set of characters whose behavior, though occasionally screwball, is never one-dimensional... Riotously funny—a quirky, tender
story..." (New York Times Book Review)
"…Smart and prickly book, one with echoes of Isaac Babel and Isaac Bashevis Singer and perhaps a dose of Samuel Beckett as well." (New York Times)
"Beautiful, lyrical prose is the hallmark of this novel." (Library Journal)