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Fiction General

Lucia's Eyes & Other Stories

by (author) Marina Sonkina

Publisher
Guernica Editions
Initial publish date
Mar 2011
Category
General
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781550713343
    Publish Date
    Mar 2011
    List Price
    $20.00

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Where to buy it

Out of print

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Description

The resistance of the human spirit in face of time, disloyalty, and oblivion is the theme of Marina Sonkina's new collection of short stories. Her seemingly naïve and helpless protagonists inhabit disparate social stations, geographical locales and cultures; all are persons displaced in their own lives. But in their struggles for survival, they discover the redeeming and dangerous power of unconditional love - the only weapon available to them. Strange and incomprehensible to everyone, love makes its sudden appearance to an eight-year-old hunchbacked boy in the title story of Lucia's Eyes. As he brings the gifts of his artistic imagination to Lucia, a refugee from the Spanish Civil War, the bleak and cruel reality of Stalin's Russia dissolves into magic ... In 'Runic Alphabet' a Polish-Canadian painter plants a tree that brings to life memories of a woman long dead who remains the only true love of his life. In 'Carmelita' an aging man from Winnipeg, vacationing in Mexico, falls in love with a young Mexican painter. In 'Christmas Tango' a jobless drifter in snowy Montreal discovers tango, inadvertently transforming his own life and the lives of those who come in contact with him. In 'Tractorina' a hard-working crane-operator, retired in post-Gorbachev Russia, is driven into a rose-tinted abyss by her stepson. In 'Angels Ascending and Descending' a young girl is initiated into the mysterious symbolism of Russian Orthodox church architecture by a priestly man who hardly lives up to the spiritual heights he preaches. Full of unexpected turns and twists, sadness, joy and humour, these stories reflect life, itself always a surprise, and always a miracle.

About the author

Marina Sonkina was born in Moscow, Russia. She taught literature and linguistics at Moscow State University till she escaped - with two then small sons and two suitcases - the Soviet Union. It took her more than a decade to settle into English before she dared to brave its waters with pen in hand. She lived in Toronto and Montreal where she worked as a CBC producer and broadcaster, documentary film researcher and translator. She taught Humanities at Dawson and Vanier College in Montreal and now shares her time between teaching at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia as well as writing. She has published two collections of short stories and two children's books. Marina lives in Vancouver.

 

Marina Sonkina's profile page

Editorial Reviews

These stories display a masterly range of emotional tones, from ice-hard brilliance to mordant wit to sheer lyricism. Marina Sonkina's characters rise from the page to become people we know and understand, although they live at widely distant points of the compass, spiritual and geographical. It's clear that she loves them all, with a passion that forgives their weaknesses. In 'Runic Alphabet,' a painter plants a tree that, as it grows, awakens memories of a lost love. In 'Christmas Tango,' a chance encounter with a drunk in a Montreal bar sparks a new meaning in a man's life. 'Carmelita' takes us to a small Mexican town where a Canadian expatriate becomes a victim of his newly acquired wealth. All of these stories reflect Sonkina's erudition, skill and versatility. She is a writer to treasure; she tells memorable tales in succulent, satisfying and elegant prose. - Martha Roth, author, editor.

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