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Fiction Literary

A Question of Return

by (author) Robert Carr

Mosaic Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2015
Literary, Historical
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2015
    List Price

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In 1931, apprehensive about her return to the Soviet Union, Marina Tsvetayeva wrote from Paris to a friend, "Here I am unnecessary. There I am impossible." She did return in 1939. Betrayed by her husband, ignored by her friends, caught up in the Stalinist nightmare, she was dead within two years.
Four decades later, Artyom (Art) Laukhin, a Soviet poet famous worldwide but no longer able to publish in his own country, made the opposite?westward?journey. He sent ahead of him the journal his father had kept between the mid nineteen—thirties and the late nineteen—fifties. A writer of popular spy stories much enjoyed by Stalin himself, Pavel Laukhin had been in the middle of the Soviet literary life and had kept a secret journal.
The novel opens in 1985, in Toronto, where the poet has been working toward transforming his father's notebooks into a publishable literary journal. He is revising and linking all Tsvetayeva—related stories in the journal into a narration about the poetess.
The novel also takes up a love affair between Pavel and Audrey Millay who works for an art gallery owner who is a son of a White Russian émigré, the possibility that this gallery is an outlet for KGB confiscated Soviet art, the world of émigré artists with their backstabbing, pettiness, envy, failures, envy and their obsessions with their memories of the past.
A novel with huge themes, precise and well—crafted characters, a deep sensitivity to the past and the present and the strange encounters between the two.

About the author

Born in Bucharest, Romania, Robert Carr fled from the Communist regime at the age of twenty-four. He then moved from France to Israel and then settled in Canada. He was trained as an engineer and worked in the aerospace industry. He now writes full time and lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Robert Carr's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Structurally loose, [Continuums] gains force from Carr's nuanced character work and vividly drawn settings." Jim Bartley, The Globe and Mail; "Remarkable First Novel"?Joseph Kertes, Dean of Humber School of Creative and Performing Arts

Other titles by Robert Carr