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Book Title: The Life of an Unknown Man|
The author of the book: Andreï Makine
Edition: Graywolf Press
Date of issue: June 5th 2012
ISBN 13: 9781555970543
Loaded: 2992 times
Reader ratings: 3.4
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 344 KB
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A deeply moving meditation on memory, history, love, and art by the author of Dreams of My Russian Summers
In The Life of an Unknown Man, Andreï Makine explores what truly matters in life through the prism of Russia's past and present.
Shutov, a disenchanted writer, revisits St. Petersburg after twenty years of exile in Paris, hoping to recapture his youth. Instead, he meets Volsky, an old man who tells him his extraordinary story: of surviving the siege of Leningrad, the march on Berlin, and Stalin's purges, and of a transcendent love affair. Volsky's life is an inspiration to Shutov -- because for all that he suffered, he knew great happiness. This depth of feeling stands in sharp contrast to the empty lives Shutov encounters in the new Russia, and to his own life, that of just another unknown man . . .
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Read information about the authorAndreï Makine was born in Krasnoyarsk, Soviet Union on 10 September 1957 and grew up in city of Penza, a provincial town about 440 miles south-east of Moscow. As a boy, having acquired familiarity with France and its language from his French-born grandmother (it is not certain whether Makine had a French grandmother; in later interviews he claimed to have learnt French from a friend), he wrote poems in both French and his native Russian.
In 1987, he went to France as member of teacher's exchange program and decided to stay. He was granted political asylum and was determined to make a living as a writer in French. However, Makine had to present his first manuscripts as translations from Russian to overcome publishers' skepticism that a newly arrived exile could write so fluently in a second language. After disappointing reactions to his first two novels, it took eight months to find a publisher for his fourth, Le testament français. Finally published in 1995 in France, the novel became the first in history to win both the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Medicis plus the Goncourt des Lycéens.
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