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The Nomadic Soul

Authors: Irina Muravyova

Published by Glas New Russian Writing

ISBN: 1051-5717-2008

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The Nomadic soultraces the dramatic history of several generations of an upper-class family during the First World War and the Civil War in Russia. Historical events providing a background for the narrative are depicted not directly but rather as seismic shock waves overturning and transforming the lives of ordinary people.

Lala, Natasha, Toma.
The three eponymous heroines are close friends, all from formerly affluent families stripped of their wealth and status by the Revolution and now struggling for their very survival in Stalin's Russia.

A married couple live to a ripe old age in idyllic love and harmony during the perestroika years. Through flashbacks to their earlier life it becomes apparent that the husband had been a commandant of a women's labour camp in the 1930s, and enjoyed the confidence of Stalin himself.

"The Nomadic Soul is a richly suggestive blend of prose and poetry, tirelessly jumping back and forth in time and place and begging multifold connections with the present that remains poignantly unclarified. The story is told from a wide variety of perspectives and largely through dialogue, with the speakers' identity withheld often until the last moment. Muravyova revels in this at times bewildering polyphony. Here, as elsewhere, Muravyova shows her considerable talent at refashioning staples of the Russian tradition with verve and ingenuity." — The Moscow Times

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