A Certain Finkelmeyer

Felix Roziner, Author, Feliks Roziner, Author W. W. Norton & Company $19.95 (362p) ISBN 978-0-393-02962-8
Soviet emigre Roziner's compelling novel presents a complex view of Russian society, culture and politics under Stalin. Poet Aaron-Chaim Mendelevich Finkelmeyer, who works for the Ministry of Fishes in Siberia, is unable to publish his work because it does not boast of the greatness of the Soviet State. Pretending to have discovered the literature of a little-known ethnic minority, the Tongors, he ``translates'' the poems, which are really his own work, for publication in a magazine. But bureaucrat Leonid Pavlovich Nicolsky recognizes the writing as Finkelmeyer's own and draws the poet into a circle of writers, artists and intellectuals who meet in secret to discuss the exigencies of their art. The underground group is soon hounded by a government that suspects its most talented creative citizens of having committed crimes against the State, including the detestable ``parasitism'' of which Finkelmeyer is accused. Excellent characterization, fluid prose and taut, dramatic pacing lead to a shattering denouement. This classic view of a dissident's life, once circulated through the samizdat, is soon to be published in the Soviet Union. Roziner, whose previous books of fiction, criticism and history have not appeared here, should earn a wide audience with this powerful, poignant tale. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
Paperback - 362 pages - 978-0-8101-1263-6
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