OVERRIDE

Natasha

And Other Stories

David Bezmozgis

Picador

A dazzling debut, and a publishing phenomenon: the tender, savagely funny collection from a young immigrant who has taken the critics by storm.

Few readers had heard of David Bezmozgis before May 2003, when Harper's, Zoetrope, and The New Yorker all printed stories from his forthcoming collection. In the space of a few weeks, America thus met the Bermans--Bella and Roman and their son, Mark--Russian Jews who have fled the Riga of Brezhnev for Toronto, the city of their dreams.

Told through Mark's eyes, the stories in Natasha possess a serious wit and uniquely Jewish perspective that recall the first published stories of Bernard Malamud and Philip Roth, not to mention the recent work of Jhumpa Lahiri, Nathan Englander, and Adam Haslett.

REVIEWS

Praise for Natasha

“Extraordinary...[Recalls] the work of Babel, Roth, Saul Bellow, and so many others. Yet Bezmozgis makes these characters, and the state of marginality itself, uniquely his. This hysterical, merciless, yet open-hearted excavation of a Jewish family in the process of assimilating gives his literary predecessors a run for their money.” —Daniel Schifrin, Los Angeles Times Book Review

“An authority one usually finds only in more seasoned writers.” —Meghan O’Rourke, The New York Times Book Review

“Scary good...Not a line or note in the book rings false.” —Esquire

“An effervescent debut...A familiar tale of dislocation and assimilation with enough humor, honesty, and courage to make it new again...If the last page of ‘Tapka’ doesn’t stop your heart, maybe it was never really beating.” —O magazine

“A latter-day Bernard Malamud...It’s astonishing how Bezmozgis can summon up the émigré community with such clarity and economy. David Bezmozgis isn’t almost there. He has arrived, fully mature and wise. These stories aren’t just superbly crafted investigations of a particular people and place, but profound illuminations of what it means to grow up in an uncertain, ever-changing world.” —Dan Cryer, Newsday

“A stunning first collection, characterized by a painful honesty and clarity of vision....Like Gogol, Bezmozgis is acutely aware of his characters’ shortcomings; as Gogol does, Bezmozgis writes with compassion, quietly reminding us of the hidden beauty within human imperfection.” —Julie Orringer, The Believer

“Dazzling, hilarious, and hugely compassionate narratives [written with] freshness and precision...Readers will find themselves laughing out loud, then gasping as Bezmozgis brings these fictions to the searing, startling and perfectly pitched conclusions that remind us that, as Babel said, ‘no iron can stab the heart so powerfully as a period put in exactly the right place.’” —Francine Prose, People

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • David Bezmozgis

  • David Bezmozgis (Bez-MOZE-ghis) was born in Riga, Latvia, in 1973. In 1980 he immigrated with his parents to Toronto, where he lives today. This is his first book.
  • David Bezmozgis Copyright Greg Martin
    David Bezmozgis

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Natasha

And Other Stories

David Bezmozgis

Guardian First Book Award - Nominee, L.A. Times Book Prize - Finalist
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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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