What is Told

Askold Melnyczuk, Author Faber & Faber $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-571-19830-6
At once scathingly comic and tragic, this exceptional first novel is imbued with a deep sense of the importance of history as it follows three generations of a Ukrainian family from the outbreak of WW I to the U.S. of the '50s and '60s. Art history professor Zenon Zabobon weds a peasant girl, Natalka, on the day Archduke Ferdinand is shot in Sarajevo--an inauspicious omen for their mismatch. Zenon traces his lineage to 10th-century Toor Zabobon, king of the Rozdorizhans, whose battles against Tartars provide counterpoint to the Bolshevik invasion of the Ukraine. Having survived the upheavals of WW I and the Russian Revolution, Zenon tempts fate during WW II by hiding Jews in his apartment even while carrying on a reckless affair with a German captain's wife. The war's end finds Zenon, Natalka and their family in a displaced persons' camp in Berchtesgaden, near Hitler's ``Eagle's Nest'' hideaway. Moving to Manhattan in 1950, then to New Jersey, the clan copes with suburbia, uprootedness, menial jobs, suspicious neighbors and personal disintegration. Melnyczuk, who teaches at Boston University and edits the journal Agni , is a wonderful writer and a virtuoso stylist. The novel loses its fizz in the second half, dealing with America, but it should astonish readers nevertheless. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/28/1994
Release date: 03/01/1994
Show other formats
FORMATS
Paperback - 201 pages - 978-0-571-19865-8
Paperback - 202 pages - 978-0-9836774-2-0
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.