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Another Life is an intriguing story about a woman suddenly and prematurely widowed who attempts to grasp firmly the memory of her brilliant, erratic husband, and to understand and come to terms with the life they had together. Although the story is told from the viewpoint of Olga, it becomes clear that the author's sympathies lie with the deceased husband, who, while not a success in a society where intrigue and moral compromise are the norm, possessed a passion for the truth and an appreciation for the manner in which the past affects the present. The House on the Embankment switches among a first-person narrator, a third-person narration about a figure with whom the narrator shared childhood experiences, and then an omniscient authorial voice. A sharp, satirical portrait of an academic opportunist, the book is paradoxically laced with compassion and humor. Beyond their acute depiction of life in the Soviet Union, these novellas offer an extraordinarily rich literary encounter in the tradition of great nineteenth-century Russian writing.
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