Ivan and Misha: Stories

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9780810127180: Ivan and Misha: Stories


Winner of the 2011 Northern California Book Award for Fiction

Nominated for 2011 Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction

Awarded the 2013 Gina Berriault Award

In Ivan and Misha, Michael Alenyikov portrays the complexities of love, sexuality, and the bonds of family with boldness and lyric sensitivity. As the Soviet Union collapses, two young brothers are whisked away from Kiev by their father to start life anew in America. The intricately linked stories in this powerful debut, set in New York City at the turn of the millennium, swirl about the uneasy bond between fraternal twins, Ivan and Misha, devoted brothers who could not be more different: Bipolar Ivan, like their father, is a natural seducer, a gambler who always has a scheme afoot between fares in his cab and stints in Bellevue. Misha struggles to create a sense of family with his quixotic boyfriend, Smith, his wildly unpredictable brother, and their father, Lyov ("Call me Louie!"), marooned in Brighton Beach yet ever the ladies' man. Father and sons are each haunted by the death of Sonya, a wife to Lyov, a mother to his sons. An evocative and frank exploration of identity, loss, dislocation, and desire, Ivan and Misha marks the arrival of a uniquely gifted voice in American fiction.

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About the Author:

Michael Alenyikov's short stories have appeared in Canada s Descant, the Georgia Review, New York Stories, and the James White Review, and have been anthologized in Best Gay Stories 2008 and Tartts Four: Incisive Fiction from Emerging Writers. His essays have appeared in the Gay & Lesbian Review. He was a MacDowell Fellow in 2004 5, and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2007. Raised in New York City, Alenyikov has worked as a bookstore clerk, a clinical psychologist, a cab driver, an interactive media writer, and a consultant. He lives in San Francisco.

From Library Journal:

"Ivan and Misha" by Michael Alenyikov. This collection of short stories revolves around a pair of fraternal twins, Ivan and Misha, brought to America as children, along with their father, Louie. Ivan inherited his father's dark good looks and his mother's bipolar disease . . . Misha has his mother's blond coloring and the burden of responsibility for his brother. Both brothers become involved in gay relationships, which strain their own bonds. Alenyikov's richly detailed yet straightforward prose pulls us into the world the father and brothers have made for themselves in contemporary New York City, capturing the jitteriness of Ivan's manic episodes, the tensions of urban gay life, and the coping with family acceptance and AIDS. In one story, set in the week before 9/11, the mere dates on the calendar puts readers on edge. The strongest story, told in Louie's voice, takes us inside the infirmities, sorrows, and the long perspective of advancing age. VERDICT: Highly recommended, especially for readers of literary gay fiction, although the themes of exile and familial affection will interest a wider audience. -- Reba Leiding, James Madison University, Libs. Harrisonburg, VA --Library Journal, November 3, 2010

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Book Description Northwestern University Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The linked stories in this powerful debut by Michael Alenyikov swirl around the titular fraternal twins and their father, Louie, as they make their way from the oppressive world of Soviet-era Kiev to the frenetic world of New York City in the late nineties and early aughts. Ivan, like his father, is a natural seducer and gambler who always has a scheme afoot between fares in his cab and stints in Bellevue for his bipolar disorder. Misha, more haunted than his brother by the death of their mother after their birth, is ostensibly the voice of reason. Socially adrift, father and sons search for meaning in their divergent romantic relationships. Louie embarks on a traditional heterosexual dating relationship late in life, while Ivan is sexually opportunistic and omnivorous, and Misha, a young gay man, is torn between his family and the prospect of a committed relationship. The brothers search for connection leads them through a multitude of subcultures, all depicted in vivid detail. An evocative and frank exploration of identity, loss, dislocation, and sexuality, Ivan and Misha marks the arrival of a unique, authentic voice. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780810127180

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Book Description Northwestern University Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The linked stories in this powerful debut by Michael Alenyikov swirl around the titular fraternal twins and their father, Louie, as they make their way from the oppressive world of Soviet-era Kiev to the frenetic world of New York City in the late nineties and early aughts. Ivan, like his father, is a natural seducer and gambler who always has a scheme afoot between fares in his cab and stints in Bellevue for his bipolar disorder. Misha, more haunted than his brother by the death of their mother after their birth, is ostensibly the voice of reason. Socially adrift, father and sons search for meaning in their divergent romantic relationships. Louie embarks on a traditional heterosexual dating relationship late in life, while Ivan is sexually opportunistic and omnivorous, and Misha, a young gay man, is torn between his family and the prospect of a committed relationship. The brothers search for connection leads them through a multitude of subcultures, all depicted in vivid detail. An evocative and frank exploration of identity, loss, dislocation, and sexuality, Ivan and Misha marks the arrival of a unique, authentic voice. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780810127180

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Book Description Northwestern University Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The linked stories in this powerful debut by Michael Alenyikov swirl around the titular fraternal twins and their father, Louie, as they make their way from the oppressive world of Soviet-era Kiev to the frenetic world of New York City in the late nineties and early aughts. Ivan, like his father, is a natural seducer and gambler who always has a scheme afoot between fares in his cab and stints in Bellevue for his bipolar disorder. Misha, more haunted than his brother by the death of their mother after their birth, is ostensibly the voice of reason. Socially adrift, father and sons search for meaning in their divergent romantic relationships. Louie embarks on a traditional heterosexual dating relationship late in life, while Ivan is sexually opportunistic and omnivorous, and Misha, a young gay man, is torn between his family and the prospect of a committed relationship. The brothers search for connection leads them through a multitude of subcultures, all depicted in vivid detail. An evocative and frank exploration of identity, loss, dislocation, and sexuality, Ivan and Misha marks the arrival of a unique, authentic voice. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780810127180

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