A Russian Mother: A Novel (French Expressions)

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9780841913295: A Russian Mother: A Novel (French Expressions)
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Berthe Turiansky always seemed artistically gifted. A young violinist caught in the upheavals of 1917, she fled Russia with her new husband, Alexander Bisk, a poet from a wealthy Belgian family. For years the couple and their young son - the narrator of this book - are buffeted from country to country. As Berthe's absorption in the arts gradually shifts to her only child, she becomes the object of his rage and contempt, his love and attraction, and not even the physical remove afforded by the young man's departure for war, not even his marriage and success as a writer, can relieve the tension between them. A gripping story of geographical and psychological displacement emerges as mother and son are tantalized and tormented - in each other's company, in letters, and in their dreams.
In this unforgettable novel the dissonance between Berthe and her son gradually intensifies to reveal a relationship so disturbing and complex, so brutally and delicately delineated, as to seem wholly familiar and enigmatic at the same time. At the core of A Russian Mother lies the profound ambivalence of two people who are chillingly remote yet obsessively attached.
This painful symbiosis between a mother and son takes shape in fragments, as the narrative jumps back and forth in time until the late 1970s. The narrator provides the psychological threads that unify the haphazard chronology, the chaotic uprootings, and the conflicting emotions as he tries to come to terms with his mother - as blood relative and fictional character.

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About the Author:

Alain Bosquet is a widely acclaimed novelist, critic, and poet. His poems have been translated by Samuel Beckett, Wallace Fowlie, and Denise Levertov, among others. A Russian Mother, his first novel to appear in English, received the Grand Prix du Roman from the Academie francaise and has been translated into ten languages.

Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French

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