Rights sold: Russia - AST
Shortlisted for the 2020 Big Book Award
Churov and Churbanov is a classic Petersburg tale in the tradition of Dostoevsky and Gogol, and the city’s atmosphere is palpable in every scene. The book is also a family drama; a riff on the Gothic theme of the double; a laugh-out-loud adventure novel; a sly triumph of speculative fiction; an elegy on growing up (and old); and a portrait of two familiar types: the awkward, hard-working nice guy (Churov, a pediatric cardiologist) and the life-of-the-party woman magnet (Churbanov, a two-bit wheeler-dealer). Their dissimilar lives begin to entwine after they discover their hearts beat in unison. This seemingly pointless synchrony has a side effect: a pair like them can sync other people’s heartbeats to their own, thus saving the lives of patients with serious heart conditions. But there’s a downside: when one of the original pair dies, all those whose heartbeats the pair synchronized die, too. Churov and Churbanov must follow their hearts, so to speak, in deciding what role their arbitrary gift will play for those around them. Buksha proves we depend on each other more than we realize, and we can save (or destroy) lives even if our hearts don’t beat as one.
Please check Anne O. Fisher's page for a sample translation and media reviews dedicated to Churov and Churbanov in English: https://www.anneofisher.com/ksenia-buksha