A playful literary mystery set in the 1930s and 1990s, Ninochka tells the double tale of two women exiles who are both homesick and sick of home. Tanya, a Russian immigrant living in New York, travels to Paris in an attempt to reconstruct the secret life of Nina B., who was murdered there almost sixty years ago, on the eve of World War II. The murder was never solved, and in an attempt to crack the case, Tanya takes possession of Nina's handbag, which contains her diaries, love letters, kits for embroidering Russian blouses, a mysterious treatise on Eurasian supremacy, and a review of Ninotchka, the film in which Greta Garbo played a KGB agent who finds romance in Paris.Among the potential murder suspects are a charismatic professor and nationalist leader, an aspiring American songwriter, an aging Trotskyite, a Hungarian con artist, a heavy-drinking singer of nostalgic romance, and an athletic Comrade X of unknown origins who was rumored to have returned to the Soviet Union. As Tanya is drawn into this immigrant underworld of displaced people, double agents, and dreamers, she finds herself more and more implicated in the life of the murdered woman. Ultimately, she is forced to return to her native country, where she confronts her own homesickness in the changing post-Soviet world.
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Svetlana Boym is Professor of Slavic and Comparative Literature at Harvard University. She is the author of several books, including The Future of Nostalgia and Kosmos: Remembrances of the Future, as well as short stories and plays.From Publishers Weekly:
Structurally inventive but rather static, this novel by a Harvard literature professor and author of the nonfiction work The Future of Nostalgia traces the lives of two Russian women living in exile, one settled in New York in the 1990s, the other in Paris in the 1930s. Nina B. came to Paris in 1932, where she eked out a living embroidering Russian blouses and took classes in linguistics and psychology. Her real subject of study, however, was exile itself, and she became notorious for an essay she wrote called "In Praise of Exile." Many men loved her, but her real love was Boris, the leader of the Eurasian supremacy movement in Paris, an intellectual and political movement founded by White Russian emigres. In 1939, after attending a screening of the Ernst Lubitsch movie Ninotchka, she was shot and killed. Fifty years later, the unsolved mystery of her death attracts Tanya, a graduate student in history, who travels to Paris from New York to research Nina's story and finds herself becoming curiously caught up in it. Occasional flashes from Nina's point of view (diary entries, letters) give way to Tanya's investigations and reveal much about Nina's life. Like Nina, Boym's primary interest is the phenomenon of exile, and she explores it from every conceivable angle, piling up nostalgic detail and examining all the curious repercussions of displacement. Her playful approach, concrete, sensory references (hot tea with lemon, cherry jam) and fascinating cultural trivia (a popular Bosnian western called The Last of the Mohicans, a rubber East German doll with a bleached blond perm) stave off academic dryness, though the attenuated plot and coolness of tone keep the reader at arm's length.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Descripción State University of New York Press. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. 0791457737 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW6.0439373
Descripción State University of New York P, 2003. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería P110791457737
Descripción State Univ of New York Pr, 2003. Hardcover. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería DADAX0791457737
Descripción Estado de conservación: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Nº de ref. de la librería 97807914577331.0