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What Is Told

Askold Melnyczuk

37 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0983677425 / ISBN 13: 9780983677420
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Paperback. 202 pages. What is Told is a masterful novel that sprints across generations, centuries and continents. In a spirited narrative that travels from old Ukraine to New Jersey, Askold Melnyczuk follows his character through the betrayals of war and the promises of marriage. Zenon and Natalka Zabobon marry the day Archduke Ferdinand is shot in Sarajevo. When Natalka wins the battle of the bedroom, Zenon throws his energies into making sure his country doesnt completely disappear from the map. His brother Stefan, meanwhile, renounces the abstractions of nationalism for the certain pleasures of Paris and his two mistresses, a mother and daughter. Transplanted to the strange soil of the new world by the upheavals of World War II, the family finds itself unprepared for the subtle sabotages of peacetime suburbia. With the ghosts of their extraordinary past never far away, the voyagers resort to the strategies learned in the struggle again the Tartars, Nazis, and Communists. The results are as comic as they are unexpected. In What is Told, Askold Melnyczuk reinvents with humor and compassion, the story of a people long hidden behind the Iron Curtain. His novel is a reminder that history is not something that happens only to others. Seamus Heaney called it A great novel of unresentful sorrow and half-requited loss. Melnyczuks blend of myth and realism punctuated with violence and comedy recalls Garcia Marquez, wrote Philip Patrick of The Boston Globe. And, Alida Becker, of The New York Times Book Review, said, To fall in love with Melnyczuks voice is no trouble at all. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Bookseller Inventory # 9780983677420

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Bibliographic Details

Title: What Is Told

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:New

Book Type: Paperback

About this title

Synopsis:

What is Told, (A New York Times Notable Book), is a masterful novel that sprints across generations, centuries and continents. In a spirited narrative that travels from old Ukraine to New Jersey, Askold Melnyczuk follows his character through the betrayals of war and the promises of marriage. Zenon and Natalka Zabobon marry the day Archduke Ferdinand is shot in Sarajevo. When Natalka wins the battle of the bedroom, Zenon throws his energies into making sure his country doesn’t completely disappear from the map. His brother Stefan, meanwhile, renounces the abstractions of nationalism for the certain pleasures of Paris and his two mistresses, a mother and daughter. Transplanted to the strange soil of the new world by the upheavals of World War II, the family finds itself unprepared for the subtle sabotages of peacetime suburbia. With the ghosts of their extraordinary past never far away, the voyagers resort to the strategies learned in the struggle again the Tartars, Nazis, and Communists. The results are as comic as they are unexpected. In What is Told Askold Melnyczuk reinvents with humor and compassion, the story of a people long hidden behind the Iron Curtain. His novel is a reminder that history is not something that happens only to others. Philip Patrick, of The Boston Globe called the novel, “Magnificent in scope” continuing “Brilliantly Melnyczuk skips across decades and continents....His blend of myth and realism — punctuated with violence and comedy — recalls Garcia Marquez.” And, Alida Becker, of The New York Times Book Review said “To fall in love with Melnyczuk’s voice is no trouble at all....”

From Library Journal:

The novelist, a first-generation American of Ukrainian heritage, begins his story just after the turn of this century, but most of the action takes place after World War II. His characters, who come from two generations, flee war in Europe only to enter long-ensuing personal battles in New Jersey as cultures clash and family friction ebbs and flows with the struggle against the "subtle Sabotages of the seemingly peaceful suburbs." Intertwined with the living characters are dead legends, the gods credited with the early, more spectacular origins of the family back in Tartar times. Treating the dreams and aspirations and loves of immigrants, this unusual novel seeks in an imaginative manner to integrate legend with reality. Melnyczuk, a poet, translator, and short story writer as well as a novelist, has produced a novel worthy of purchase.
- Olivia Opello, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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