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Good Citizens Need Not Fear

Good Citizens Need Not Fear

‘Bright, funny, satirical and relevant . . . A new talent to watch!’ MARGARET ATWOOD, from Twitter

‘Creative, poignant and darkly hilarious . . . an outstanding first book’ ANTHONY DOERR, author of All the Light We Cannot See

‘Luminous’ YANN MARTEL, author of Life of Pi

‘The funniest, most politically astute book I’ve read in years’ MIRIAM TOEWS, author of Women Talking

A bureaucratic glitch omits an entire building, along with its residents, from municipal records. So begins Maria Reva’s collection of ingeniously intertwined stories that span the chaotic years leading up to and immediately following the fall of the Soviet Union. As the benighted denizens of 1933 Ivansk Street weather the official neglect of the authorities, they devise cunning ways to survive.

An agoraphobic recluse makes money by mapping the vinyl grooves of illegal Western records onto stolen X-ray film; a delusional secret service agent becomes convinced he’s being covertly recruited to guard Lenin’s tomb, just as his parents supposedly were; and weaving the narratives together is chameleon-like Zaya, a cleft-lipped orphan who reappears as a Miss USSR beauty-contest crasher and later as a sadist for hire to the Eastern Bloc’s newly minted oligarchs.

Good Citizens Need Not Fear moves from moments of intense paranoia to surprising tenderness, exploring what it is to be an individual amid the rolling forces of history.
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Genre: Europe / Eastern Europe / Former Soviet Union, Ussr (europe)

On Sale: 7th May 2020

Price: £14.99

ISBN-13: 9780349012704


Maria Reva is a miracle writer: how else to explain how dark and suffused with light these stories are, how genuinely hilarious and very serious, how entertaining and thought provoking? You've never read anything like them, and together they make an incredible, strange and deeply exciting book
Elizabeth McCracken, author of BOWLAWAY
Reading this dazzling story collection, I discovered it's possible to have your heart broken while laughing loud enough to wake the baby two doors down the hall. With their big, delightful dollops of surrealism and absurdity, these stories conjure up from the old Soviet-era Ukraine a world that feels, with its hall-of-mirrors twists and torques, uncannily--alarmingly!--on point and up-to-date. Good Citizens Need Not Fear marks the beginning of what is sure to be a long, strong career for the brilliant Maria Reva
Good Citizens Need Not Fear is the funniest, most politically astute book I've read in years. Reva's pitch perfect tone - especially at that comic junction where the absurdity of a system rigged to control human beings collides with actual humans - is bang-on brilliant
Miriam Toews, author of WOMEN TALKING
Creative, poignant, and darkly hilarious, Good Citizens Need Not Fear is full of relevant questions about resistance, corruption and maintaining dignity against the dehumanizing power of the State. This is an outstanding first book
Anthony Doerr, author of ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE
Luminous. These stories speak with humour yet real emotion of the heaviness of totalitarian systems and show how the light of our humanity still shines through. Terrific stuff
Yann Martel, author of THE LIFE OF PI
[A] hilarious, absurdist debut collection...Reva delights in the strange situations caused by political dysfunction, while offering surprising notes of tenderness as ordinary people learn to get by. The riotous set pieces and intelligent gaze make this an auspicious debut
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
I have never read anything like these radiant stories. They are true originals- funny, devastating, and containing a weird, wild energy. These citizens, living in the literally collapsing buildings of Ukraine, will not be crushed or silenced. They have something urgent to say about where we are today
Deb Olin Unferth, author of WAIT TILL YOU SEE ME DANCE
Everything about this book is astonishing - its breadth and depth, its wit and originality, its inventiveness and intelligence and, maybe most surprising of all, its great big heart. We've been waiting for a writer as fearless and thrilling as Maria Reva, and Good Citizens Need Not Fear confirms that she's arriving exactly when we need her most
Bret Anthony Johnston, author of REMEMBER ME LIKE THIS
Bright, funny, satirical and relevant . . . A new talent to watch!