Translated from the original Russian by Marian Schwartz
From the author of the international bestseller, Laurus, comes a richly layered coming-of-age story in which a musical prodigy, robbed of his talent by an incurable disease, attempts to overcome his mortality. Through well-wrought vignettes and dialogue in the original Ukrainian, Vodolazkin shows the ways in which these identities are inextricably linked and expressed through the push and pull of loyalties big and small. After Gleb Yanovsky, a celebrated guitarist, is diagnosed with Parkinsons disease, he permits a writer, Sergei Nesterov, to pen his biography. In a mischievous and tender account, Gleb recalls a personal story of a lifetime quest for meaning, and how the burden of success changes with age. Expanding the literary universe spun in his earlier novels, Vodolazkin explores music and fame, heritage and belonging, time and memory. In a dueling interplay between Glebs first-person recollections and Nesterovs interpretation, the carefully knit stitches unravel into a puzzle: Whose story is it the subjects or the writers? Are art and love really no match for death? Is memory a reliable narrator? In Brisbane, the city of our dreams, as in music, Gleb hopes hes found a path to eternity and a way to stop the clock.
About the Author/Translator:
Eugene Vodolazkin was born in Kyiv, Ukraine. His second novel, Laurus, won both of Russia’s major literary awards, the National Big Book Award and the Yasnaya Polyana Book Award, among others. His debut novel, Solovyov and Larionov, was shortlisted for the Andrei Bely Prize and the Big Book Award. Three other critically acclaimed novels have also been translated into English. An expert in medieval history and folklore, Vodolazkin works in the department of Old Russian Literature at Pushkin House and has numerous academic books and articles to his name. The author lives with his family in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Marian Schwartz is the English translator of Nina Berberova’s works, the New York Times bestseller The Last Tsar, by Edvard Radzinsky, and classics by Mikhail Bulgakov, Ivan Goncharov, Yuri Olesha, Mikhail Lermontov, and Leo Tolstoy. She is a past president of the American Literary Translators Association and the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts translation fellowships and numerous prizes.
Nominating Library’s Comments:
Brisbane is a new novel by the the international bestselling author Eugene Vodolazkin – the winner of the Big Book Award, the Leo Tolstoy Yasnaya Polyana Award, and the Read Russia Award, the finalist of the Russian Booker Award. Vodolazkin also won the Solzhenitsyn Prize in 2019. He is a modern Thinker and Peacemaker who continues to develop traditions and heritage of a grand philosophical novel. – All Russia State Library for Foreign Literature