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The Book of Anna

Carmen Boullosa
Coffee House Press

Russia, 1905. Behind the gates of the Karenin Palace, Sergei, son of Anna Karenina, meets Tolstoy in his dreams and finds reminders of his mother everywhere: the almost-living portrait that the Tsar intends to acquire and the opium-infused manuscripts she wrote just before her death, one of which opens a trapdoor to a wild feminist fairytale. Across the city, Clementine, an anarchist seamstress, and Father Gapón, the charismatic leader of the proletariat, tip the country ever closer to revolution. Boullosa lifts the voices of coachmen, sailors, maids, and seamstresses in this playful, polyphonic, and subversive revision of the Russian revolution, told through the lens of Tolstoy’s most beloved work.