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Still Here - Lara Vapnyar

Hardcover Published: 2nd August 2016
ISBN: 9781101905524
Number Of Pages: 336

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A warm, ambitious, and beautifully moving novel from the writer Louis Menand calls "Jane Austen with a Russian soul"

Vica, Vadik, Sergey, and Regina are emigres living in New York City. Each in their mid-thirties, they're old friends from Russia who've remained close, though the pressures of daily life in America bear down on them. Vica, medical researcher and mother of one, must keep her Staten Island household together while her husband, Sergey, spins through a cycle of lost jobs as an analyst, hoping his great ideas for a hot new app will someday make him rich. Regina, once an esteemed translator, is now married to a wealthy investor and spends her days holed up in a sweeping Tribeca loft, curtains drawn, watching television and eating takeout; and Vadik, ever in search of a sense of newness, works hard as a programmer to keep his new apartment, new girlfriend, and new life in Williamsburg totally pristine. 

When Sergey hones his app idea--he calls it "Virtual Grave," intended to give a voice to those who've died via texting and social media--it begins a formidable debate in the group, spurring questions about mortality and memory, the inevitability of death, the loss of control, and what we hope to leave behind. And as the four friends share the many rises and falls of their love lives, struggles as immigrants in a still-new city, professional fortunes, and hopes for their futures, they consider what the point of life is, each discovering a newer, fuller way to exist in the now.

An effortless and big-hearted novel about friendship, success, and connection, Lara Vapnyar's STILL HERE sets her among the ranks of today's most beloved literary storytellers.

Industry Reviews

Praise for Still Here

"Still Here is flat-out wonderful, the work of a generous imagination that overflows with stories, some humorous, others heartbreaking, all resonant. The novel is timely in its trenchant dissection of technology and post-recession America, yet classic in its evocation of love and death, ambition and identity, families and friendships forged and broken. Lara Vapnyar's quartet of Russian strivers are so luminous on the page, they continued to glow in my mind well past the final sentence." -- Anthony Marra, New York Times bestselling author of The Tsar of Love and Techno and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

..".minutely observed, razor funny and wholly wonderful." --New York Times Book Review

"A brisk and amusing reboot of the familiar immigrant tale...think 'Friends' with a heavy Russian accent." --Wall Street Journal

"[Still Here] provides a lively view of a group of friends navigating their early 40s, juggling mistakes of their past and trying to remain hopeful about the future. Once again, Vapnyar illustrates her incredible ability to create rich and entertaining narratives." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"[A] piercing novel about the absurdities of the digital age, Still Here is also the finest kind of comedy of manners, as much a snapshot of how we live now as were the 19th-century novels of Anthony Trollope and George Eliot." --BookPage

Praise for Lara Vapnyar's Previous Works:

The Scent of Pine

"[With] a buoyant wit, a sharp-edged Russian melancholy, a fascination with outsiders who long to be insiders and a blunt reckoning with the costs of that transition for those who achieve it. This slender but provocative novel advances those concerns, skillfully questioning the notion that age brings wisdom, at least in matters of the heart." --New York Times Book Review

"Ms. Vapnyar has shown herself to be exquisitely sensitive to the shifting vagaries of emotion, particularly happiness...Enchanting." --New York Times

"Sharply observed, darkly humorous, and sexy, Vapnyar weaves her tale of mid-life crisis and coming-of-age like a modern-day, Russian Scheherazade."--Tatjana Soli New York Times bestselling author of The Lotus Eaters

"[Vapnyar has] an impressive gift, not just of language, but of insight into the human condition."--The Boston Globe

"[Vapnyar's] wistful and waggish account of disappointments in friendship, sex, and love is closer in spirit to Anton Chekhov, who, remaining in Russia, captured the universal melancholy of human mortality." --Christian Science Monitor

There Are Jews in My House

"A remarkable collection...Eerie in its simplicity, stunning in its scope. Through her tender, insightful writing, Vapnyar's characters, battered by history and each other, emerge from the long Soviet night oddly radiant and whole." --Gary Shteyngart

"Lara Vapnyar is Jane Austen with a Russian soul. The blend of coolness and pathos in these perfect stories is uncanny." --Louis Menand

"Prepare yourself for radiance."-New York Observer

"These finely etched stories glow with the life-giving force of language newly acquired." --Time Out New York

"Shot through with coolly rendered details of exquisite beauty...Relish this small gem and hope for more." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Superbly written tales that continue the tradition of Russian realism.... One feels that a season is changing and the future has arrived." --Washington Times

"Vapnyar's ambition, purity of prose, and gift for concentrated emotion make this collection a standout--and the first move in what promises to be a long and interesting career." --Hartford Courant

"A feat of linguistic achievement. Not only is [Vapnyar's] prose stark and carved in its fresh foreignness, but her stories have the quality of memoir, which lends a naturalness to her subjects.... You must read these stories or have them read to you." --Los Angeles Times

"Beautifully wrought tales...Nuanced and deftly written...Superb." --Baltimore Sun

"There Are Jews in My House has an exciting flawlessness, like a perfectly cut stone.... This book should become one of those slender classics, beloved especially among those who thrill to find the old-fashioned short story made so richly and authentically new." --O The Oprah Magazine

"Vapnyar draws an indelible portrait of the land she left behind. . . . [She] conjures a country that is both alluring and oppressive and induces longing and dismay in equal parts." --The New York Times Book Review

"Richly written...[Vapnyar's] gift is capturing zigzag lives, alternate realities, the messy imperfection of people as they struggle to find a path." --Miami Herald

"Vapnyar's sensitive descriptions of Russian life here and abroad make her a writer to watch." --Dallas Morning News

"Powerful . . . Vapnyar seems to be establishing her own more expansive freedom."--The New York Times

"Stealthily engrossing, graceful prose . . . This lovely collection very effectively captures the small moments that tell what it is to be human." --Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Reading the stories in There Are Jews in My House is a bit like what it might have been like to look over Tolstoy's shoulder while he examined a blade of grass, then another. In Vapnyar's fiction, details jut, simple and bright, until they pose a world." --Chicago Tribune

Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love

"Poignant, piquant, and mischievously amusing." --Wall Street Journal

"Elegant...In these stories, food has the power to define characters, propel plots, cause riots, and even commit manslaughter." --New York Times

"The comedy of these amusing character studies would, perhaps, have delighted Chekhov.... With Vapnyar, we're seeing the weird and wonderful development of a sophisticated artist." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Charming...The stories come alive, inviting the reader to explore the kitchen tables and anxious stomachs of the characters." --New York Observer

Memoirs of a Muse

"Beautifully observant and funny. . . . It's already easy to identify that Vapnyar touch, and to fall under its spell."--Entertainment Weekly

"So good, so consistently fresh, funny, and surprising, that every sentence is a pleasure." -San Francisco Chronicle

"[Vapnyar] is clearly a talented writer, possessed of an ample humor and insight and a humane sensibility."-The New York Times Book Review

"Hilarious . . . [Vapnyar's] eye for the absurd remains sharp . . . An immensely talented storyteller."-Vogue

ISBN: 9781101905524
ISBN-10: 1101905522
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 2nd August 2016
Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 16.3  x 2.7
Weight (kg): 0.61

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