9780312423933

Natasha: And Other Stories

Bezmozgis, David

ISBN 10: 0312423934 / 0-312-42393-4
ISBN 13: 9780312423933
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: 2005
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
A dazzling debut, and a publishing phenomenon: the tender, savagely funny collection from a young immigrant who has taken the critics by storm.

Few readers had heard of David Bezmozgis before May 2003, when Harper's, Zoetrope, and The New Yorker all printed stories from his forthcoming collection. In the space of a few weeks, America thus met the Bermans--Bella and Roman and their son, Mark--Russian Jews who have fled the Riga of Brezhnev for Toronto, the city of their dreams.

Told through Mark's eyes, the stories in Natasha possess a serious wit and uniquely Jewish perspective that recall the first published stories of Bernard Malamud and Philip Roth, not to mention the recent work of Jhumpa Lahiri, Nathan Englander, and Adam Haslett.

Review:
David Bezmozgis became an overnight star when he published stories in the holy trinity of American magazines for fiction lovers: The New Yorker, Harper's, and Zoetrope. With the publication of his first book, Natasha, he has been compared to Chekhov and Philip Roth, and the comparison is more than just promotional copy. Natasha follows the experiences of a family of Russian Jews who settle in Toronto and set about reinventing themselves. The loosely connected stories are narrated by the son, Mark, who attempts to understand not only his new world but also his parents. As the book progresses, his growth into the frustrations of adolescence mirrors his family's disappointments as they attempt to escape their old lives in the immigrant ghetto and create new identities. Bezmozgis calls the stories "autobiographical fiction," as they are largely inspired by his own family's past, but make no mistake, these are fully realized works of literature, complete with an attention to language and an eye for detail that invoke the best of minimalist writing. Bezmozgis doesn't reinvent the form here--he sticks to traditional themes such as the search for self and cultural dislocation--but he tells his stories with a grace and quiet sensitivity that's so rare these days it's practically an endangered species.

And there are a couple of literary masterpieces in Natasha. The title story, which relates Mark's sexual experimentation with a cousin by marriage during a summer spent dealing drugs, manages to be both a touching coming-of-age tale and one of the freshest inversions of the suburban dream in years. "The Second Strongest Man," a story of the reunion of Mark's family with a Russian weightlifter, manages to conflate the decline of the Russia with the emptiness of North American life in its tale of aging men whose time has passed them by. Bezmozgis divides his time between Canada and the U.S., but Natasha is international in the scope of its subjects--modern Russia, Toronto's immigrant communities, Judaism, various translations of the American dream. It's the literature of globalization, and Bezmozgis has proven himself to be a global writer. --Peter Darbyshire, Amazon.ca

Review

Editorial reviews may belong to another edition of this title.
 

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Bezmozgis, David
ISBN 10: 0312423934
ISBN 13: 9780312423933
Bookseller: The Book Depository US (Gloucester, ., United Kingdom)
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Book Description: Picador USA, United States, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 210 x 140 mm. Language: English Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. A dazzling debut, and a publishing phenomenon: the tender, savagely funny collection from a young immigrant who has taken the critics by storm. Few readers had heard of David Bezmozgis before May 2003, when Harper s, Zoetrope, and The New Yorker all printed stories from his forthcoming collection. In the space of a few weeks, America thus met the Bermans--Bella and Roman and their son, Mark--Russian Jews who have fled the Riga of Brezhnev for Toronto, the city of their dreams. Told through Mark s eyes, the stories in Natasha possess a serious wit and uniquely Jewish perspective that recall the first published stories of Bernard Malamud and Philip Roth, not to mention the recent work of Jhumpa Lahiri, Nathan Englander, and Adam Haslett. David Bezmozgis was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1973. In 1980 he immigrated with his parents to Toronto, where he lives today. This is his first book. A New York Times Notable Book A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book A Chicago Tribune Best Book Winner of the Commonwealth Prize A Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year Finalist for the Art Seidenbaum Award Winner of the Writers Guild of Canada s Danuta Gleed Literary Award for Short Fiction Winner of the Canadian Jewish Book Award Shortlisted for the Frank O Connor International Short Story Award Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award Shortlisted for the Governor-General s Award Title Story Included in the 2005 Best American Short Stories The New Yorker, Harper s, and Zoetrope introduced America to the Bermans--Bella and Roman and their son, Mark--Russian Jews who have fled the Riga of Brezhnev for Toronto, the city of their dreams. A debut collection of rare skill and verve, Natasha chronicles the family saga of the Bermans in stories full of heart and consequence. In Tapka, six-year-old Mark s first experiments in English bring ruin and near tragedy to the neighbors upstairs. In Roman Berman, Massage Therapist, Roman and Bella stake all their hopes for Roman s business on their first dinner with a North American family. In the title story, a stark, funny anatomy of first love, we witness Mark s sexual awakening at the hands of his fourteen-year-old cousin, a new immigrant from the New Russia. In Minyan, Mark and his grandfather watch as the death of an Odessan cabdriver sets off a religious controversy among the residents of a Jewish old-people s home. The stories in Natasha capture the immigrant experience with wit and deep sympathy. Their evocation of boyhood and youth, and the battle for selfhood in a passionately loving Jewish family, recalls the early work of Bernard Malamud, Leonard Michaels, and Philip Roth. A New York Times Notable Book Winner of the Commonwealth Prize An authority one usually finds only in more seasoned writers.--Meghan O Rouke, The New York Times Book Review An authority one usually finds only in more seasoned writers.--Meghan O Rouke, The New York Times Book Review A slim, well-observed collection.--D. T. Max, The Nation An effervescent debut . . . A familiar tale of dislocation and assimilation with enough humor, honesty, and courage to make it new again . . . If the last page of Tapeka doesn t stop your heart, maybe it was never beating.--O magazine Deft . . . Humane but unblinkingly unsentimental . . . Fine stories [that are] thick with memorable characters.--John Biguenet, Chicago Tribune Exquisitely crafted stories. A first collection that reads like the work of a past master.--T. Coraghessan Boyle While the immigrant experience in the United States has been much explored, Bezmozgis s less familiar shores are refreshing . . . The voice in Natasha is assured, inviting, and warm.--The Economist A 30-year-old Canadian writer makes a commanding debut with an openhearted book that combines melancholy and hope. Its seven stories offer a portrait of a family of Latvian Jews just after they emigrate to Toronto in 1979. Told from the perspective of the Ber. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780312423933

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Book Description: Picador USA, United States, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 210 x 140 mm. Language: English Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.A dazzling debut, and a publishing phenomenon: the tender, savagely funny collection from a young immigrant who has taken the critics by storm. Few readers had heard of David Bezmozgis before May 2003, when Harper s, Zoetrope, and The New Yorker all printed stories from his forthcoming collection. In the space of a few weeks, America thus met the Bermans--Bella and Roman and their son, Mark--Russian Jews who have fled the Riga of Brezhnev for Toronto, the city of their dreams. Told through Mark s eyes, the stories in Natasha possess a serious wit and uniquely Jewish perspective that recall the first published stories of Bernard Malamud and Philip Roth, not to mention the recent work of Jhumpa Lahiri, Nathan Englander, and Adam Haslett. David Bezmozgis was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1973. In 1980 he immigrated with his parents to Toronto, where he lives today. This is his first book. A New York Times Notable Book A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book A Chicago Tribune Best Book Winner of the Commonwealth Prize A Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year Finalist for the Art Seidenbaum Award Winner of the Writers Guild of Canada s Danuta Gleed Literary Award for Short Fiction Winner of the Canadian Jewish Book Award Shortlisted for the Frank O Connor International Short Story Award Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award Shortlisted for the Governor-General s Award Title Story Included in the 2005 Best American Short Stories The New Yorker, Harper s, and Zoetrope introduced America to the Bermans--Bella and Roman and their son, Mark--Russian Jews who have fled the Riga of Brezhnev for Toronto, the city of their dreams. A debut collection of rare skill and verve, Natasha chronicles the family saga of the Bermans in stories full of heart and consequence. In Tapka, six-year-old Mark s first experiments in English bring ruin and near tragedy to the neighbors upstairs. In Roman Berman, Massage Therapist, Roman and Bella stake all their hopes for Roman s business on their first dinner with a North American family. In the title story, a stark, funny anatomy of first love, we witness Mark s sexual awakening at the hands of his fourteen-year-old cousin, a new immigrant from the New Russia. In Minyan, Mark and his grandfather watch as the death of an Odessan cabdriver sets off a religious controversy among the residents of a Jewish old-people s home. The stories in Natasha capture the immigrant experience with wit and deep sympathy. Their evocation of boyhood and youth, and the battle for selfhood in a passionately loving Jewish family, recalls the early work of Bernard Malamud, Leonard Michaels, and Philip Roth. A New York Times Notable Book Winner of the Commonwealth Prize An authority one usually finds only in more seasoned writers.--Meghan O Rouke, The New York Times Book Review An authority one usually finds only in more seasoned writers.--Meghan O Rouke, The New York Times Book Review A slim, well-observed collection.--D. T. Max, The Nation An effervescent debut . . . A familiar tale of dislocation and assimilation with enough humor, honesty, and courage to make it new again . . . If the last page of Tapeka doesn t stop your heart, maybe it was never beating.--O magazine Deft . . . Humane but unblinkingly unsentimental . . . Fine stories [that are] thick with memorable characters.--John Biguenet, Chicago Tribune Exquisitely crafted stories. A first collection that reads like the work of a past master.--T. Coraghessan Boyle While the immigrant experience in the United States has been much explored, Bezmozgis s less familiar shores are refreshing . . . The voice in Natasha is assured, inviting, and warm.--The Economist A 30-year-old Canadian writer makes a commanding debut with an openhearted book that combines melancholy and hope. Its seven stories offer a portrait of a family of Latvian Jews just after they emigrate to Toronto in 1979. Told from the perspective of the Berm. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780312423933

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Book Description: Picador. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 160 pages. Dimensions: 8.1in. x 5.5in. x 0.5in.A dazzling debut, and a publishing phenomenon: the tender, savagely funny collection from a young immigrant who has taken the critics by storm. Few readers had heard of David Bezmozgis before May 2003, when Harpers, Zoetrope, and The New Yorker all printed stories from his forthcoming collection. In the space of a few weeks, America thus met the Bermans--Bella and Roman and their son, Mark--Russian Jews who have fled the Riga of Brezhnev for Toronto, the city of their dreams. Told through Marks eyes, the stories in Natasha possess a serious wit and uniquely Jewish perspective that recall the first published stories of Bernard Malamud and Philip Roth, not to mention the recent work of Jhumpa Lahiri, Nathan Englander, and Adam Haslett. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780312423933

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