An extraordinary, profoundly moving and thought-provoking novel tracing the rise and fall of communism through its impact on three generations of one family: the narrator's grandfather, who deserted from the Red Army in the chaotic aftermath of the 1917 revolution; his father, who survived the Eastern front in WWII only to be killed with his wife in one of Stalin's purges; and the narrator himself - Soviet army doctor turned spy who, after the fall of communism, discovers his missing girlfriend was betrayed by a double-agent and flies to Florida bent on revenge. A searing portrait of the suffering caused in the name of politics, yet also a celebration of ordinary people's decency, compassion and courage.
Andrei Makine was born in Siberia in 1957, and taught at the University of Novgorod. In 1987 he left the Soviet Union and sought asylum in Paris, where he lived rough before finding teaching work. He is the author of LE TESTAMENT FRANCAIS, the unprecedented winner of both the Prix Goncourt and Prix Medicis and an international bestseller, which was followed by THE CRIME OF OLGA ARBYELINA (Sceptre 99). CONFESSIONS OF A LAPSED STANDARD-BEARER, his second novel, was published in English by Sceptre in 2000.