What Isn’t Remembered

Kristina Gorcheva-Newberry. Univ. of Nebraska, $19.95 trade paper (276p) ISBN 978-1-4962-2913-7
In Russian Armenian Gorcheva-Newberry’s vibrant collection, a series of immigrants embrace their adopted culture while remaining rootless and shackled to the past. “All of Me” depicts a brooding Russian writer living in Roanoke, Va., and her best friend Norma, an OB-GYN nurse with a strong libido. Both women are in their mid-40s and have each been married for nearly 20 years, yet the narrator feels disconnected from her husband and later receives a surprising confession from Norma. In “The Heart of Things,” 35-year-old Carmen has a job at a dinner theater in the U.S. while her older sister Leezy remains in their native Moscow. Carmen receives a message from Leezy informing her of their mother’s death, plunging her into a reverie over their differences; she then flies to Moscow for the funeral and brings her seatmate Josh, with whom she’d connected on the flight, and who ends up serving as pallbearer. The lyrical and haunting “Pictures of the Snow” follows a 60-something Russian woman’s disappearance. Her ex-husband, Richard, describes her as “fog falling over the mountains in great waves,” and returns to the family home searching for clues, wondering if she’d been an apparition all along. Throughout, the situations are arresting and the images indelible. Gorcheva-Newberry’s luminous prose will remain vivid in the reader’s mind. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/06/2021
Release date: 09/01/2021
Genre: Fiction
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