The Free World
Paperback : 02 Aug 2012
The Free World is the rapturously reviewed comic-tragic first novel from David Bezmozgis, a New Yorker '20 under 40' writer and author of Natasha and other stories, whose work has been shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Giller Prize.
'Terrific ... Combines comic brilliance with a poignant portrait of a family trapped between two worlds' Sunday Times
In the summer of 1978 the Krasnansky family - bickering, tired and confused - arrive in Rome. Alongside thousands of other Soviet Jewish refugees they await passage to a new home in the West. But escaping Communism is not so easy, especially when some of the Krasnanskys insist on bringing it with them. It is harder still when their American sponsor lets them down and they find they're stuck.
What follows is a tragic yet comic tale of reckless brothers and long-suffering sisters, ailing parents and innocent children, of love affairs and criminal liaisons, of a wonderfully troubled family and a perpetually wandering people, and their epic search for a home...
'Superb ... a major new talent' Independent
'Wonderfully uplifting' The Times
'Colourful, sharply funny and deeply moving' Financial Times
'Alternately comic, sharp and sombre ... it's impossible not to be caught up in the tangled web of its unforgettable case' Daily Mail
'A proper novel that bulges and pulses and thrums with life ... I ended up loving it' Observer
'David Bezmozgis projects a sense of ease that is very rare in first novels; he does everything well' Telegraph
David Bezmozgis was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1973 and emigrated with his parents to Toronto in 1980. The Free World was picked as a 'Waterstone's 11' and has been shortlisted for the Giller Prize. His previous book, Natasha and Other Stories, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, was a New York Times Notable Book of the year, won the Commonwealth Writer's Regional Prize for First Book and has been translated into over a dozen languages.
The Free World Author Reading
Interview with David Bezmozgis
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‘Self-assured, elegant and perceptive … [his] taut 2004 debut collection Natasha and Other Stories suggested that he might well be of those authors’ [Philip Roth and Leonard Michaels] caliber; The Free World goes a long way toward confirming this status’ - New York Times
‘There is a lust for life imbuing his prose – the jokes, the descriptions of faces and kisses and streets and laughter, the sprinkles of Italian, Yiddish and Latvian – making it wonderfully uplifting. It is hard to escape the conclusion that Bezmozgis is one of the most assured new Jewish writers of the century so far’ - The Times
‘David Bezmozgis projects a sense of ease that is very rare in first novels; he does everything well’ - Telegraph
‘Terrific … In bringing the tribulations of the Krasnanskys in their Roman limbo so vividly to life, Bezmozgis has written a novel that succeeds admirably in combining comic brilliance with a poignant portrait of a family trapped between two worlds’ Sunday Times
‘Heavy with the consciousness of time, the inevitability of crises. Bezmozgis has the knack of ending scenes, chapters, especially, at the perfect reverberant moment, plangent or ironic’ - Guardian
‘Colourful, sharply funny and deeply moving’ - Financial Times
‘One of 2011’s most anticipated debuts’ - Grazia
‘Delivered in an understated style which can accommodate serious subtext as well as ironical humour … His portraits of the family circle are neatly rendered and compassionate … There is no doubt Bezmozgis remains a writer worth monitoring’ - Independent on Sunday
‘Alternately comic, sharp and sombre … it’s impossible not to be caught up in the tangled web of its unforgettable case’ - Daily Mail
‘A novel full of compelling voices … He lets them speak. He listens to them. He watches where their thoughts wander. Soon he will have followed these characters from his past to the end of their roads; it will be fascinating to see whom he follows next’ - LA Times
‘Powerfully realised, absorbing’ - Boston Globe
Size : 129 x 198mm
Pages : 368
Published : 02 Aug 2012
Publisher : Penguin
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The Free World
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