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The Angels of Russia

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A doomed love affair in the age of perestroika

When Stéphanie, a French student, falls in love with Sergei, a Russian dissident, and agrees to a marriage of convenience to help him leave the USSR, she believes she is helping to outwit the KGB. But in Leningrad in 1986, no one is quite what they seem, and Sergei has another mission to fulfil when he gets to Paris. Stéphanie’s “chance” encounter with Sergei is the opening move in a skilfully plotted attempt to entrap a woman who defected to France twenty years earlier, and convince her to return to the Soviet Union. No one will escape unscathed from the tragedy that follows.

Originally conceived as the first part of a trilogy set in the late Soviet era, The Angels of Russia was the first e-book to be submitted for the Booker Prize. The nomination generated a media storm about “what is a book?”, a lot of controversy about pages and binding, some references to Homer, and a mention in Izvestia.

The Times Literary Supplement called The Angels of Russia “a sweeping contemporary historical romance, set against the great drama of perestroika,” while an Amazon reader observed, “I had to remind myself continually that this was fiction.  I loved the author’s technique of inserting relevant historical details, which gave the impression of a true story.”

See the “making of” The Angels of Russia in  KGB In The Mirror on this site.

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