The Free World

The Free World


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.


  • Superb ... a major new talent

About the author

David Bezmozgis

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