King of Odessa: A Novel
Robert A. RosenstoneISBN: 0810119927;
Book Description An offbeat and brilliant imagining of a "lost novel" by Isaac Babel A celebrated writer returns to his hometown of Odessa, pondering a deal with the secret police, pining for a daughter living abroad, and hoping to pen one last homage to his own past. Isaac Babel, the world famous spinner of tales about Cossacks and gangsters, arrives in Odessa to be treated for asthma-and perhaps help a condemned prisoner to escape. Or is it Babel who intends to escape? For six decades our only record of Babel's visit has been the contents of letters and postcards sent abroad to his mother and sister. In King of Odessa, Robert A. Rosenstone imagines a version of this visit and the novel Babel wrote during those weeks. Babel himself is concerned with more than literary plots as he considers an escape just as he starts an affair with an actress who may be a police spy. He also ruminates on his past-his childhood as a sickly Jewish boy, the horrifying 1905 pogrom,...
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