The tsar of love and techno book club questions
Best Fiction to Get Your Book Club Talking (pg. 5) | Kirkus ReviewsFrom the New York Times bestselling author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena —dazzling, poignant, and lyrical interwoven stories about family, sacrifice, the legacy of war, and the redemptive power of art. This stunning, exquisitely written collection introduces a cast of remarkable characters whose lives intersect in ways both life-affirming and heartbreaking. A s Soviet censor painstakingly corrects offending photographs, deep underneath Leningrad, bewitched by the image of a disgraced prima ballerina. A chorus of women recount their stories and those of their grandmothers, former gulag prisoners who settled their Siberian mining town. Two pairs of brothers share a fierce, protective love. Young men across the former USSR face violence at home and in the military. And great sacrifices are made in the name of an oil landscape unremarkable except for the almost incomprehensibly peaceful past it depicts.
This set of stories are intricately interrelated, offering more a novel moving between time and place to bring the story of life and survival in Soviet Russia from the terrorizing reign of Joseph Stalin into present time. Memory was the enemy of the government, so censors were hired to paint out those in the past who harbored ideas unfavorable to Stalin. It is against this time and place the stories unfold; mainly in Chechnya during the wars, and in a town just below the Arctic Circle originally founded to harbor prisoners and later to mine some of the most polluting metals known to man. The landscape and life in this time and those places could not be bleaker. While not stinting on the backdrop, Marra paints a portrait of mostly familial love so encompassing, painful, and constant that it rises above the worst life has to offer — the love of father for son, mother for daughter, brother for brother. With sly humor, exquisite writing, and unforgettable characters, this work is bound to become a classic, and book clubs will spend hours discussing its themes. Hogarth,
There were no discussion questions for this book, it was just released. Discussion guides are typically released with the book when it is expected that Book Clubs will read a book. I have found women authors get discussion guides far more than male authors. Yes, it is completely sexist, though I believe not unfounded. My real life book club picks more women than men.
The novelist Anthony Marra grew up in Washington, D. Our conversation started in Berlin, moved east to Russia, and somehow got all the way to Northern California and the punk band Screeching Weasel. LM: Thank you for talking to us from Berlin! AM: Right. AM: I did. AM: Well, Tsar began as a series of unconnected short stories.
How awful to be that man, sentenced to nonexistence. But how awful, too, to be the man forced to carry out the sentence. Each story is a gem in itself. But the book is greater than its parts, an almost unbearably moving exploration of the importance of love, the pull of family, the uses and misuses of history, and the need to reclaim the past by understanding who you really are and what really happened. The first story will break your heart. His job is ridiculous and terrible. Handed stacks of pictures, he airbrushes Trotsky out, puts Party officials in, spruces up Stalin.