The author of the critically admired, award-winning A Replacement Life turns to a different kind of story-an evocative, nuanced portrait of marriage and family, a woman reckoning with what she's given up to make both work, and the universal question of how we reconcile who we are and whom the world wants us to be.
Maya was an exuberant, adventurous Russian exchange student in America when she met the more earnest Alex, who had immigrated there earlier with his parents. Their marriage tames Maya's dreams of becoming a chef, and forces her to live in close (and suffocating) proximity to her overbearing in-laws. Maya and Alex adopt a baby boy from Montana, whose teenage mother leaves him with the cryptic message 'Don't let my baby do rodeo.' At eight years old, Max's behaviour becomes odd: he often disappears, talks to animals, refuses to sleep in a bed... Convinced that the only way to help their son is to reconnect with his biological parents in order to know his roots, Maya insists that the family drive to Montana. But this road trip turns out to be a personal journey of self-discovery for herself, and in a different way, for Alex as well, as it helps both define who they are and where they really belong. They learn to accept the love they all have for one another as their true home, and Max as the mirror of their love.
About the Author
Boris Fishman was born in Minsk, Belarus, and immigrated to the United States in 1988 at nine. His journalism, essays, and criticism have appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The London Review of Books, the Guardian, and many other publications. His first novel, A Replacement Life, won the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and the American Library Association's Sophie Brody Medal. He lives in New York.
Empathetically narrated... begins with the unexpected and ends with the enigmatic (no spoilers, but the last 10 pages are quietly astonishing -- Sunday Telegraph
Fishman is in cool and nuanced control of his material -- Herald
His language has the originality and imagination of someone who comes to English with unexpected thoughts and rhythms in his head, and he is, simply, a joy to read -- New York Times Book Review
A rewarding read: sensitive, wise and truthful -- Big Issue
Fishman fills the book with a cast of colourful minor characters... Many will find this story of an unhappy family trying to pull itself together moving, at times funny, a pleasure to read -- Jewish Chronicle