A Terrible Country

A Terrible Country

A literary triumph about Russia, family, love, and loyalty--the first novel in ten years from a founding editor of n+1 and author of All the Sad Young Literary Men

When Andrei Kaplan's older brother Dima insists that Andrei return to Moscow to care for their ailing grandmother, Andrei must take stock of his life in New York. His girlfriend has stopped returning his text messages. His dissertation adviser is dubious about his job prospects. It's the summer of 2008, and his bank account is running dangerously low. Perhaps a few months in Moscow are just what he needs. So Andrei sublets his room in Brooklyn, packs up his hockey stuff, and moves into the apartment that Stalin himself had given his grandmother, a woman who has outlived her husband and most of her friends. She survived the dark days of communism and witnessed Russia's violent capitalist transformation, during which she lost her beloved dacha. She welcomes Andrei into her home, even if she can't always remember who he is.

Andrei learns to navigate Putin's Moscow, still the city of his birth, but with more expensive coffee. He looks after his elderly--but surprisingly sharp!--grandmother, finds a place to play hockey, a cafe to send emails, and eventually some friends, including a beautiful young activist named Yulia. Over the course of the year, his grandmother's health declines and his feelings of dislocation from both Russia and America deepen. Andrei knows he must reckon with his future and make choices that will determine his life and fate. When he becomes entangled with a group of leftists, Andrei's politics and his allegiances are tested, and he is forced to come to terms with the Russian society he was born into and the American one he has enjoyed since he was a kid.

A wise, sensitive novel about Russia, exile, family, love, history and fate, A Terrible County asks what you owe the place you were born, and what it owes you. Writing with grace and humor, Keith Gessen gives us a brilliant and mature novel that is sure to mark him as one of the most talented novelists of his generation.

Title:A Terrible Country
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780735221314
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Free PDF Download:Yes
Read Online Free:Yes

    A Terrible Country Reviews

  • Liz

    Andrei emigrated with his parents from Russia at the age of six. Now, he's 33 and returning to Moscow to take care of his 89 year old grandmother, who’s suffering from some dementia. And who’s lon...

  • Paul Fulcher

    This is a terrible country. My Yolka took to America. Why did you come back?” She seemed angry. A Terrible Country by Keith Gessen is published in the UK by perhaps my favourite of all publishers, F...

  • Gumble's Yard

    Keith Gessen was born in Russia of Jewish parents, who emigrated to the US when he was still a child – and is now an author, journalist (specialising in Russia), book-critic, translator and journal ...

  • Steven Z.

    At a time when Russia, Putin, conspiracy, and collusion dominate the news cycle it is wonderful to escape into a work of fiction that is absorbing, appealing to human emotion on many levels, and sadly...

  • Diane S ?

    Review soon....

  • Sonya

    As a young immigrant from the Soviet Union, i related to the book a lot. Russia may have capitalism but it doesnt mean the corruption went away. Only the people who have connections and money survive ...

  • Neil

    This is a book about what it means to return to a place that is no longer home. Reading it brought back memories of Tommy Orange’s “There there”, or, more specifically, of Gertrude Stein’s quo...

  • Danielle Tremblay

    A man returns to Moscow to take care of his grandmother and discovers Putin's Russia, its new prosperity and its old problems.I have not read Gessen's previous novel, but it seems that the author bega...

  • ?Marie Gentilcore

    I loved this book! It’s been nearly a week since I finished and I miss it still and wish there was more. It is a novel but it reads like a memoir. It starts off with Andrei coming back to Moscow to ...

  • Tommi

    To justify another 5-star rating for my beloved blue publisher, especially because this title seems to receive more criticism than some others (and I can see where it’s coming from), here are some o...