Isabelle/Oranges for the Son of Alexander Levy

Nella Bielski, John Berger, Lisa Appignanesi

Isabelle/Oranges for the Son of Alexander Levy
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Isabelle/Oranges for the Son of Alexander Levy

Nella Bielski, John Berger, Lisa Appignanesi

Checkovian in its deceptive lightness, Nella Bielski’s fiction is a uniquely feminine meditation on death and absence: the absence of the heroine’s husband Paul, of the intense life of her childhood in wartime Russia, and her youth in Moscow, of friends and family who have vanished behind the tundra of the Gulag, of parents who loved her. Yet running like a powerful current throughout is the energy of life itself, precious in the details of its very everydayness. Politics are a part of this life, shaping it without ever occupying its centre, like Alexander Levy whose crime it was to invent a simple dream of a tolerable existence. Nella Bielski’s novel, like the best of poetry, illumines the ordinary and asserts, against painful odds the value of living.

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