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The Dream Life Of Sukhanov by Olga Grushin
The Dream Life Of Sukhanov is set in the waning days of the Soviet Union. Anatoly Sukhanov is 56 and the editor in chief of the country's premier art magazine. He edits the magazine to parrot the Communist Party line and remove any religious or provocative references. His life turned on the moment when he had to turn his back on the art he loved and joined the party to secure the hand of the woman he loved. Now he has a privileged life with his wife and his children's future occupations are assured. As glasnost begins to take hold, he begins to suffer hallucinations about the life he repressed. Olga Grushin moves her novel back and forth in time, and as Sukhanov's life and mental state begins to unravel, the grasp on reality becomes even less assured. The Dream Life Of Sukhanov has received mostly positive reviews with the Washington Post saying, "The Dream Life Of Sukhanov is sophisticated, ironic and witty, multilayered, intricately constructed, deeply informed, elegantly written -- the work, one would think, of someone who has been writing and publishing fiction for years, not someone who is doing it for the first time, and doing it in what is not her native language."