Dalkey Archive Press | Fiction | Paperback
ISBN 978-1-564787-36-1 | 347 Pages
Translated by Eric Dickens
The first manucscript in this novel is an autobiographical sketch concerning an Estonian writer’s old schoolmate, now a government official, who is trying to recruit our narrator to spy on his fellow citizens. The second, composed by the hero of the first, is a fictionalized (and far more exciting) version of these same experiences. Finally, the self-aggrandizing hero of this second story decides to write his own novel, which seems on one hand to be a plagiarism of Chekhov’s Lady With the Lapdog, and on the other to be retelling the same story we’ve already heard twice over–until it’s no longer entirely clear whether these stories relate to one another like Russian dolls, or are three parallel versions of the same events, each no less valid than the others.