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Dreams of My Russian Summers
ANDREI MAKINE

Dreams of My Russian Summers by Andrei Makine
42 reviews (1997) (256p)
National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction Finalist

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Book Description

Hailed as extraordinary from coast to coast and winner of both the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Medicis, France's top literary prizes, the national bestseller Dreams of My Russian Summers traces a sentimental journey that embraces many of the dramatic events in Russia during the twentieth century. Here is a poignant story of a Soviet boy's ascent into manhood in the 1960s and 1970s, and his extraordinary affection for his mysterious grandmother who seems to have been there for all the pivotal historical events. This epic tale is full of tenderness and passion, pain and heartbreak; mesmerizing, in every way.


Amazon.com Review
Each summer, Andrei Makine's narrator and his sister leave the Soviet Union for the mythical land of France-Atlantis. That this country is a beautiful confabulation, a consolation existing only in his maternal grandmother's mind, makes it no less real. Though Charlotte Lemonnier lives in a town on the edge of the steppe, each night she journeys to a long-ago Paris, telling tales that the children then translate with their more Russian minds: "The president of the Republic was bound to have something Stalinesque about him in the portrait sketched by our imagination. Neuilly was peopled with kolkhozniks. And the slow emergence of Paris from the waters evoked a very Russian emotion--that of fleeting relief after one more historic cataclysm ..."

Makine's first novel is a singing tribute to the alchemy of inspiration, but it is no less familiar with the sorrows of reality. And it is only as he gets older that the narrator begins to piece together his grandmother's far more tragic past--her experiences in the Great War, the October Revolution, and after. Dreams of My Russian Summers is a love letter to an extraordinary woman (it's hard not to see the book as autobiographical) as well as to language and literature, which the boy turns to in avoidance of history's manipulations. It has all the marks of an instant classic.


Andrei Makine Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 1  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 1  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 1 Dreams of My Russian Summers ·  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 0  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 0  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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