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JACOB’S LADDER

Ludmila (Lyudmila) Ulitskaya

  • Original Title: LESTNITZA JAKOWA
  • Publication date: December 2015
  • Publisher: ACT
  • Country: RU
  • 736 print pages
  • Epics/Saga

Information

  • Epoch: Historical
  • Time Period: 20th century
  • Location setting: Russia, Ukraine
  • Themes: FAMILY, Intergenerational, Heritage, PEOPLE facing life, Facing failure, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Rivalry, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Violence, Totalitarian regime, Corruption, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Social relations, Commitment, LOVE / HATE, Amorous urge, CHARACTERS, Strong Female Character

Pitch

A family saga spanning a century of recent Russian history, ending in what is a summation of Ulitskaya's career devoted to sharing the absurd and tragic tales of twentieth-century life in Russia. Here, 3 generations of Muscovites and a Kievian are linked by a diary.

Comments

English translation to be published by FSG in July 2019.

Lyudmila Ulitskaya is an internationally acclaimed modern Russian novelist and short-story writer who, in 2014, was awarded the prestigious Austrian State Prize for European Literature for her oeuvre. A former scientist and the director of Moscow’s Hebrew Repertory Theater, she is the author of more than a dozen works of fiction, several tales for children, and multiple plays that have been staged by a number of theaters in Russia and Germany. She has won Russia’s Man Booker Prize and twice won its Big Book Prize, as well as being nominated for the Man Booker International Prize.

Summary

JACOB'S LADDER is a family saga spanning a century of recent Russian history, ending in what is a summation of Ulitskaya's career devoted to sharing the absurd and tragic tales of twentieth-century life in Russia.

Jumping between the diaries and letters of Jacob Ossetsky in Kiev in the early 1900s and the experiences of his granddaughter Nora in the theatrical world of Moscow in the 1970s and beyond, JACOB'S LADDER guides the reader through some of the most turbulent times in the history of Russia and Ukraine, and draws suggestive parallels between historical events of the early twentieth century and those of more recent memory.

From the seeming promise of the prerevolutionary years, to the dark Stalinist era, to the corruption and confusion of the present day, JACOB'S LADDER is a pageant of romance, betrayal, and memory. With a scale worthy of Tolstoy, it asks how much control any of us have over our lives—and how much is in fact determined by history, by chance, or indeed by the genes passed down by the generations that have preceded us into the world.

Report on a partial. English translation available

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  • Author’s biography

    Lyudmila Ulitskaya (born 1943) is an internationally acclaimed modern Russian novelist and short-story writer who, in 2014, was awarded the prestigious Austrian State Prize for European Literature for her oeuvre. A former scientist and the director of Moscow’s Hebrew Repertory Theater, she is the author of more than a dozen works of fiction, several tales for children, and multiple plays that have been staged by a number of theaters in Russia and Germany. She has won Russia’s Man Booker Prize and twice won its Big Book Prize, as well as being nominated for the Man Booker International Prize.