New Vessel Press | 245 pages
Available for pre-sale, shipping 2/14/2017
An idyllic childhood takes a sinister turn. Rumors of a serial killer haunt the neighborhood, families pack up and leave town without a word of warning, and the country begins to unravel. Policemen stand by as protesters overtake the streets, knowing that the once awe-inspiring symbols of power they wear on their helmets have become devoid of meaning. Lebedev depicts a vast empire coming apart at the seams, transforming a very public moment into something tender and personal, and writes with stunning beauty and shattering insight about childhood and the growing consciousness of a boy in the world.
Author Sergei Lebedev was born in Moscow in 1981 and worked for seven years on geological expeditions in northern Russia and Central Asia. Lebedev is a poet, essayist and journalist. Oblivion, his first novel, has been translated into many languages. Lebedev’s second novel, Year of the Comet, is coming out from New Vessel Press in 2017.
Translator Antonina W. Bouis is one of the leading translators of Russian literature working today. She has translated over 80 works from authors such as Evgeny Yevtushenko, Mikhail Bulgakov, Andrei Sakharov, Sergei Dovlatov and Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. Bouis, previously executive director of the Soros Foundation in the former USSR, now lives in New York City.
“You read and reread Lebedev’s lyrical, cutting prose with equal amounts of awe and enjoyment. This gorgeously written, unsettling novel—a rare work about the fall of the Soviet Union as told through the eyes of a child—leaves us with a fresh understanding of that towering moment in recent history.”
—Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
“Absorbing … a seamlessly written child’s-eye view that conveys an adult understanding of history’s burdens.”
—Library Journal (Starred Review)
“A clear poetic sensibility built to stand against the forces of erasure.”
—The Wall Street Journal