What Happened to Anna K.: A Novel (Touchstone Books (Paperback))

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9781416558941: What Happened to Anna K.: A Novel (Touchstone Books (Paperback))

“Literate and fun, What Happened to Anna K. is an uncommonly ambitious book and one of the year’s most amusing reads” (People, People Pick, 4 out of 4 stars).

Now in paperback, this modern-day retelling of one of literature’s greatest novels has been hailed as a mesmerizing literary event, praised across the country for its voice, wisdom, ambition, and sheer storytelling flair. Vivacious thirty-seven-year-old Anna K. is comfortably married to Alex K., an older, prominent businessman in her tight-knit Russian immigrant community in Queens. But a longing for freedom is reignited in this bookish, overly romantic and imperious woman when she meets her beloved cousin Katia’s boyfriend, an outsider and aspiring young writer on whom she pins her hopes for escape. As they begin a reckless affair, Anna launches into a tailspin that alienates her from her husband, family, and entire world. Touching on struggles of identity, fidelity, and community, What Happened to Anna K. is a remarkable re-imagining of the Anna Karenina story brought vividly to life by a “marvelous” (San Francisco Chronicle) young writer.

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Review:

Amazon Best of the Month, August 2008: With her fresh reinvention of Anna Karenina, Irina Reyn finds her tragic heroine in the Russian-Jewish immigrants of New York's outer boroughs. As in the Tolstoy, an impetuous woman wasting in a sterile marriage succumbs to a destined-for-disaster love affair with a dashing young man, and is bitterly condemned by a society fraught with hypocrisy; like citizens of19th-century Russia, modern-day Bukharians don't take kindly to wifely infidelity. With an ear for witty dialogue and a knack for imagery both sharp and sensuous, Reyn gives a pixel-perfect depiction of Anna's world. Those caught in her undertow are equally multidimensional, most with their own struggles between loyalty to self and longing for community acceptance. Even those who haven't experienced Tolstoy will be rapt. --Mari Malcolm

About the Author:

Irina Reyn’s writing has appeared in Tin House, One Story, The Los Angeles Times, Town and Country Travel, and numerous anthologies. A graduate of Bennington College’s MFA program, she currently teaches creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh. She was born in Moscow and now divides her time between Pittsburgh and Brooklyn.

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