Shelves: favorites , gorgeous-prose , modern-fiction , war , russia , chechnya This beautiful and haunting novel is one of my favorite books of But first, you must meet Havaa, a precocious little girl whose father was just taken by federal forces, probably never to be seen again. Havaa ran into the This beautiful and haunting novel is one of my favorite books of A neighbor, Akhmed, helps Havaa escape to a nearby town and convinces a doctor, Sonja, to look after her. She walked alone down the school corridors, head sternly bent toward the stack of books in her arms
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Shelves: favorites , gorgeous-prose , modern-fiction , war , russia , chechnya This beautiful and haunting novel is one of my favorite books of But first, you must meet Havaa, a precocious little girl whose father was just taken by federal forces, probably never to be seen again. Havaa ran into the This beautiful and haunting novel is one of my favorite books of A neighbor, Akhmed, helps Havaa escape to a nearby town and convinces a doctor, Sonja, to look after her.
She walked alone down the school corridors, head sternly bent toward the stack of books in her arms Sonja had more academic journal subscriptions than friends. Even in the summer months, she had the complexion of someone who spent too much time in a cellar. Everyone knew Sonja was destined for great things, but no one knew what to do with her until then. He jokes that he is the worst doctor in Chechnya, but he still manages to help his patients and their families, sometimes by drawing portraits of those who have been killed or taken by the feds.
The page-long sentence on p. Each chapter opens with a timeline, pinpointing a year between and , and the flashbacks illuminate what happened to our characters during the war. This is a novel whose plotting and gracefulness I admired so much that as soon as I had finished it, I immediately wanted to start over and read it again.
What details! What connections! This is the kind of novel I love to read -- one that is complex and meaningful and full of humanity and life and I wish I could give a copy to every bookish friend I know.
Data Protection Choices
In the background are the Chechen wars, a staggeringly destructive pair of conflicts pitting the army of post-Soviet Russia against Chechen guerrillas who were sometimes supported by visiting Arab jihadis. This novel is, among other things, a meditation on the use and abuse of history, and an inquiry into the extent to which acts of memory may also constitute acts of survival. But for the time being, 8-year-old Havaa is saved by a neighbor, Akhmed, who walks her to the reluctant care of the last doctor in the bomb-shattered hospital of the nearby city of Volchansk. Sonja, the doctor, is an ethnic Russian whose grandparents moved to Volchansk as part of the Stalinist colonization of the region. She is so skilled and resourceful she can successfully stitch a gaping chest wound with dental floss. Akhmed, an ethnic Chechen, is a drastically underqualified doctor with a talent for drawing, who has spent his life in such extreme isolation that he has Ronald McDonald mixed up with Ronald Reagan. Yet the lives of both are tormented by loss.
Prisoners of the Caucasus
About A Constellation of Vital Phenomena New York Times Notable Book of the Year In a small rural village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as Russian soldiers abduct her father in the middle of the night and then set fire to her home. When their lifelong neighbor Akhmed finds Havaa hiding in the forest with a strange blue suitcase, he makes a decision that will forever change their lives. He will seek refuge at the abandoned hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded. For Sonja, the arrival of Akhmed and Havaa is an unwelcome surprise.
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
On the other, few of them are likely to view Chechens in a particularly favourable light. The Boston bombings—and the Chechen immigrants accused of pulling them off—seem bound to hang over Vital Phenomena. Which is too bad. Set in the Chechen countryside in the war years between and , the book is strong enough to be judged on its own merits. Marra, a recent M. His characters occupy a world foreign to his own, yet he makes them believable. File Name: a constellation of vital phenomena book review.
A constellation of vital phenomena book review