Dzerzhinsky Square

James O. Jackson, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (245p) ISBN 978-0-312-22439-4
Jackson, Moscow bureau chief for Time, makes a startling debut as a novelist of significant moral concern and perception. He tells a deceptively simple story about Grisha Malmudov, a Russian orphan who fights for his country in WW II, is captured by the Germans, then learns the Soviet authorities wanted to punish him for work done under force in a German wartime factory. The CIA offers him a new identity so he can return to his homeland, in exchange for relaying information. But they dump him soon after he gets back to Russia, and Grisha must then live in paralyzing paranoia as Sasha Kuznetsov, factory production supervisor. His need to remain secretive cuts him off from his past (a beloved wife and daughter) and precludes any happiness in the present. Bureaucratic documentation of his life, from birth to death, is interspersed throughout this haunting, provocative tale, which reaffirms the importance of love and identity in leading life fully. January 27
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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