Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate (Book Acquired, 6.14.2013)

Books, Literature, Writers

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Big thanks to Mr. BLCKDGRD for sending me this copy of Vasily Grossman’s enormous novel Life and Fate. Over the past few years I’ve come to admire and trust BLCKDGRD’s taste, and I generally love these types of novels, so I’m looking forward to getting into this later in the year.

Here’s publisher NYRB’s blurb:

A book judged so dangerous in the Soviet Union that not only the manuscript but the ribbons on which it had been typed were confiscated by the state, Life and Fate is an epic tale of World War II and a profound reckoning with the dark forces that dominated the twentieth century. Interweaving a transfixing account of the battle of Stalingrad with the story of a single middle-class family, the Shaposhnikovs, scattered by fortune from Germany to Siberia, Vasily Grossman fashions an immense, intricately detailed tapestry depicting a time of almost unimaginable horror and even stranger hope. Life and Fate juxtaposes bedrooms and snipers’ nests, scientific laboratories and the Gulag, taking us deep into the hearts and minds of characters ranging from a boy on his way to the gas chambers to Hitler and Stalin themselves. This novel of unsparing realism and visionary moral intensity is one of the supreme achievements of modern Russian literature.

Read our review of Grossman’s novel The Road.

 

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5 thoughts on “Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate (Book Acquired, 6.14.2013)

  1. Enjoy! It’s a remarkably old-fashioned novel for all of its controversial content; one tends to agree with Grossman’s friend that there is really no more need for Tolstoy in the mid-twentieth-century, but that doesn’t mean that Tolstoy is not enjoyable. Also, I found myself strangely converted to Stalinism by the novel; whether or not that was Grossman’s intent, who can tell, tovarish?

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