This volume, published posthumously, was compiled when Sharov already acutely sensed his own end. Of its thirteen entries, one is on literature (Platonov, “without whom and outside of whom our twentieth cen-tury will never be understood”) and four on Russian history; these ﬁnal ﬁve entries supplement earlier themes. But the ﬁrst half of the book is urgently new. The author is embedded in every word. It is autobiographical, however, only in Sharov’s modest and decentered sense of a memoir: not a Bildungsroman focused on his own coming-of-age, but horizontal, anecdotal, literally a cross-pollination at the level of small living things.
At the radiant center of these remembrances is his father, Aleksandr Izrailevich Sharov (né Nyurenberg), who began as a geneticist, switched to journalism in the late1930s, and ﬁnally took refuge in literature. The essays then spread outward in space and time to Sharov’s early neighborhood...
Rights sold: Germany - HANSER, Hungary - MAGVETO, France – GALLIMARD, Russia - AST, Serbia - ARHIPELAG, World English (excerpt, magazine) - GRANTA, Finland (excerpt, magazine) - GRANTA/OTAVA
Non-fiction is a new form for Ludmila Ulitskaya, a new approach to the reader. For the very first time in her literary carrier, she speaks with reader in first person.
The book comprises: - Ulitskaya's essays on topical issues in literature, art, religion, and politics; - Reminiscences of friends and family, mostly departed; - Stunning self-biographical account of her personal fight against breast cancer; - Series of a very personal, but also philosophical meditations which move beyond the limitations of one individual and their personal destiny. Ulitskaya reflects on the end of life and the inevitability of death. These are her thoughts on an issue which disquiets each of us, demanding that we address it, while disconcerting us with its insolubility.