The Good Life Elsewhere

Vladimir Lorchenkov, Author, Ross Ufberg, Translator
Vladimir Lorchenkov, trans. from Russian by Ross Ufberg. New Vessel (www.newvesselpress.com), $14.99 (204p) ISBN 978-1-939931-01-6
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In Lorchenkov's comedy of errors, Larga, a small village in Moldova, is anything but thriving, and its citizens relentlessly look towards the economically-booming Italy for an answer to their problems. However, few Largans ever make it into the bordering country to find work; despite their best efforts, most are turned away at the border. Nevertheless, these doomed Largans insist on trying. From clergy members such as Father Pataii to politicians such as Voronin, to disillusioned citizens such as the Serafim and Vassily, an often wry narrator chronicles the villagers' cartoonish attempts to escape their impoverished fates. The result is a simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking tale, in which location becomes just as much a character as the people who populate it. Lorchenkov and translator Ufberg bring the myth of Sisyphus to its modern setting in this moving Moldovan satire. (Feb.)
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