The Big Green Tent
Named a Must-Read Book by New York Magazine, Travel+Leisure, Flavorwire, and Bustle Long-listed for the 2016 Best Translated Book Award in Fiction With epic breadth and intimate detail, Ludmila UlitskayaÆs remarkable work tells the story of three school friends who meet in Moscow in the 1950s and go on to embody the heroism, folly, compromise, and hope of the Soviet dissident experience. These three boys---an orphaned poet, a gifted yet fragile pianist, and a budding photographer with a talent for collecting secrets---struggle to reach adulthood in a society where their heroes have been censored and exiled. Rich with love stories, intrigue, and a cast of dissenters and spies, The Big Green Tent offers a panoramic survey of life after Stalin and a dramatic investigation into the possibilities for individual integrity in a society defined by the KGB. Each of the central characters seeks to transcend an oppressive regime through art, a love of Russian literature, and activism. And each of them ends up face-to-face with a secret police that is highly skilled at provoking paranoia, division, and self-betrayal. Ludmila UlitskayaÆs novel ultimately belongs to the tradition of Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Pasternak: it is a work consumed with politics, love, and belief---and a discovery of light in dark times.