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Anthony Marra

Autor(a) de A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

7+ Works 3,784 Membros 293 Reviews 4 Favorited

About the Author

Anthony Marra received a bachelor's degree from the University of Southern California and an MFA from the Iowa Writers Workshop. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Narrative Magazine, and MAKE Magazine. His short story Chechnya won a 2010 Pushcart Prize and the 2010 Narrative Prize. His debut mostrar mais novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, was published in 2013 and received the inaugural John Leonard Prize. He also received 2018 Simpson Family Literary Prize. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

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Obras de Anthony Marra

Associated Works

xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths (2013) — Contribuinte — 280 cópias
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012 (2012) — Contribuinte — 200 cópias
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016 (2016) — Contribuinte — 110 cópias
Granta 139: Best of Young American Novelists (2017) — Contribuinte — 71 cópias
2011 Pushcart Prize XXXV: Best of the Small Presses (2010) — Contribuinte — 39 cópias


2013 (17) 2014 (27) 21st century (15) American (18) American literature (34) ARC (15) audiobook (27) book club (15) Chechnya (156) contemporary fiction (24) ebook (43) family (22) favorites (19) fiction (375) first edition (15) historical (16) historical fiction (150) history (13) Hollywood (22) hospital (21) immigrants (14) Italy (19) Kindle (37) library (14) literary fiction (42) literature (24) novel (46) own (18) read (35) read in 2016 (13) Russia (132) short stories (84) signed (44) Soviet Union (18) survival (22) to-read (624) torture (21) unread (14) war (119) WWII (30)

Conhecimento Comum



"To say he felt guilty would ascribe to him ethical borders that were lines on a map of a country that no longer existed. At least that's what he told himself. Better to deny the existence of objective morality than to live in its shadow. Better to tell yourself that the world of right and wrong is not the world you belong to."

I'm not quite sure where to start with this review, because Anthony Marra's profoundly moving book "The Tsar of Love and Techno" has left me nearly speechless, or at least unable to articulate in any meaningful way his talent and genius in bringing book into the world.

"Techno" is a series of inter-connected short stories which take place primarily in Sibera and Chechnya from the 1930's Stalin era through the modern Putin era. Without resorting to the maudlin, Marra depicts the hopelessness of living in an authoritarian and war-torn region, where corruption and suffering are part of each person's daily existence. And yet, even amidst this misery, there is humanity, and art, and humor -- because even when there is little else to live for, human nature will try to find some light in the darkness.

Marra's writing skill and ability to create characters is spectacular. Numerous times throughout the book I said to myself: "THIS is why we read." I listened to the audio version and hit the "bookmark" button numerous times, just so I could go back and listen to certain passages -- works of art in themselves.

Nearly everyone I know has liked or loved this book. Believe the hype. As I said at the beginning of my review, I don't think I'm doing it justice. Two of my friends have done a much better job than I have. Please see Iris's review and Kelli's review.

5 stars. Best book of 2016 so far.
… (mais)
jj24 | outras 75 resenhas | May 27, 2024 |
Interlinking stories set in Russia from the Stalinist purges to the Second Chechen War and beyond illuminate the human desire for connection with one another even in times that challenge our basic humanity. Marra repeats his feat of being a great Humanist novelist of contemporary Russia.
lelandleslie | outras 75 resenhas | Feb 24, 2024 |
Slow to start working for me, but ultimately a hard hitting and touching look at wartime survival and the theme of sacrifice. Set over 5 days in the post-second war guerrilla phase of fighting in the Chechen Republic in a small corner of Chechnya, this first novel is hardly epic in scope yet does range over the preceding decade and draws for the reader an outline of the brutal wars that took place there.

The question of sacrifice permeates the novel. When the story opens, the Russians are raiding a small village and taking away a man, Dokka, whom we understand immediately will not be left living much longer. His 8 year old daughter Havaa escaped, but the Russians want her too (shared familial guilt is also a Chechen concept, as is illustrated elsewhere). Their neighbor Akhmed, kind and compassionate and self-acknowledged worst doctor in Chechnya, will take her to a place where she will not be found, and in a few days an informer will turn him in for it, and that will do for Akhmed, our noble though not exactly ethically scrupulous hero.

A more interesting character though is Ramzan, the informer. At the start we feel the scorn one naturally feels for the informer who turns in his neighbors for execution, handsomely benefiting materially from his crimes. Later we learn that Ramzan has a much more complex and painful story than first appears, and if we can't forgive, we might at least comprehend.

Ramzan's father Khassan struggles deep in his soul with what his son has done. Though they must share a house in the village, he has not spoken to his son since the informing began almost two years previous. He endures guilt for the death Ramzan has brought to their neighbors and for his own failings as a father. He wonders if, like Abraham, he is called to sacrifice his son, and if he can kill his child by his own hand.

And there's Sonja, ethnically Russian but born and raised in Chechnya. A surgeon in London when the first war breaks out, she leaves her life and breaks off her pending marriage to return home and find her sister Natasha when the Russians withdraw after two years that have left Chechnya in ruins and Natasha missing.

While for the first 150 pages or so I found this to be an average book, interesting but afflicted with an obvious case of first-time-itis, the book really comes together beautifully and powerfully. The plot threads are unwound nearly perfectly, and the characters gain richness and depth and fragility. Which ultimately I think leaves me with a 4 star rating for a book that felt like it was a 5 by the time I turned the last page.
… (mais)
lelandleslie | outras 182 resenhas | Feb 24, 2024 |
For the first hundred pages or so the tone was putting me off of it; Marra was clearly trying hard to amuse the great novel reading public with jokes and ironic humor and I was not feeling it.
She enjoyed wine spritzers, Virginia Woolf, probing the depths of his bellybutton, having affairs with men half her age, and buying overpriced paintings of people with their eyes and ears all mixed up.

Even worse was what he put into his characters’ mouths: “Still, I must admit, I like Jesus’s politics. Feeding the hungry, blessing the meek, wearing a robe to work.” Badda-bing! Eh.

But gradually the sweeping epic aspect and the rich characterization won me over. Kinda hard not to fall somewhat under the spell of a well written sweeping epic with rich characterization, I find. It reminded me of Jennifer Egan’s [b:Manhattan Beach|34467031|Manhattan Beach|Jennifer Egan|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1524162798l/34467031._SY75_.jpg|55587075], I suppose because of the World War II setting and popular appeal, which is a bit shallow really but Marra does namecheck Manhattan Beach in the acknowledgements as a book that kept him company as he wrote this. Perhaps it makes sense to think that those who like the one will probably like the other.
… (mais)
lelandleslie | outras 28 resenhas | Feb 24, 2024 |



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