My spring reading list keeps getting longer and longer . . . and I like it that way! One of the best short story collections of the decade, David Bezmozgis‘ Natasha “packs a devastating wallop as it describes what it means to be a foreigner,” as BookPage reviewer Ian Schwartz put it in his glowing 2004 review. So we weren’t too terribly surprised when the Latvian-born writer became one of the New Yorker’s “Top 20 Under 40″
Bezmozgis’ long-awaited first novel, The Free World (FSG), will be published on March 29. Set in the late 1970s, in the shadow of Brezhnev and the Cold War, the novels follows the Krasnansky family, who are trying to leave Russia but end up in Italy instead of Israel (the destination of choice for most emigrés) on their way to North America. Canadian publishing magazine The Quill & Quire reports that “according to Bezmozgis’s Canadian publisher, Iris Tupholme, the characters could be the parents and grandparents of the characters in Natasha.” The New Yorker has an excerpt here.