Anthony Marra masterfully intertwines the stories of his second book, The Tsar of Love and Techno. The stories are anchored in grim circumstance....Stalinist Soviet Union, Siberia, Chechnya. The time period spans from the 1940's to present day. Unhappy times in desolate places, but uplifting commonalities are found in all the stories. In each, the characters are able to find solace, kindness, and humor in the most desolate of situations. The readings could stand alone but one of the pleasures of this book is uncovering the references to prior stories. They interconnect and mesh unexpectedly. Wry humor is sprinkled throughout. One of my favorites..."Hipsterdom's a tightrope strung across the canyon of douche-baggery." Spot on! This book surprised in many and most excellent ways.— Walt
October 2015 Indie Next List
“A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is one of my favorite novels of the last several years, and now Marra follows that up with a dazzling set of linked stories set in Russia, Chechnya, and Siberia over a period of time spanning from the Russian Revolution to the modern day and beyond. As with his debut novel, what I love are the characters that he makes readers care so deeply about, as well as the fact that I constantly found myself wanting to know more about their lives and the history of their countries. Get on the Marra train now because one thing is certain: He is one of our brightest young talents writing today.”
— Cody Morrison (M), Square Books, Oxford, MS
From the author of National Book Award longlist selection and "New York Times "bestseller "A Constellation of Vital Phenomena" come these 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 1930s 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. In stunning prose, with rich character portraits and a sense of history reverberating into the present, "The Tsar of Love and Techno" is a captivating work from one of our greatest new talents.
About the Author
ANTHONY MARRA is the author of "A Constellation of Vital Phenomena" (2013), which won the National Book Critics Circle's inaugural John Leonard Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in fiction, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and appeared on over twenty year-end lists. Marra's novel was a National Book Award longlist selection as well as a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and France's Prix MEdicis. He received an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where he teaches as the Jones Lecturer in Fiction. He has lived and studied in Eastern Europe, and now resides in Oakland, California.