Above Water deals with effects of Nazism on Harry Rosen, a Latvian Jew. Harry has to endure the inferno of the Riga ghetto. He escapes from the ghetto and finds a hiding place in the apartment of Anna, sister of a friend. After the liberation of Riga, Harry marries Anna and studies at Riga University. Later, Harry and Anna decide to go to the United States. In New York, Harry publishes a book on modern history; to gather material for the book, he goes to Germany. In Berlin, he has an encounter with the now former SS officer whom he tricked thirty years ago in Riga when he escaped from the ghetto. The German does not recognize Harry. Harry’s German tour has ended. He has gathered the needed material for his next book.
Above Water is an important book about life in two totalitarian states–first, German-occupied Latvia, then the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
These English poems by Gari have the same energy and elegance as his Russian poems, and they are enriched by his multilayered, polyphonic use of the English language to express thoughts and feelings with sophistication and humor.
This new edition by Shearsman Press (UK) contains translations of Marina Tsvetaeva’s narrative poems (поэмы). They can be seen as markers of various stages in her poetic development, ranging from the early, folk-accented On a Red Steed to the lyrical-confessional Poem of the Mountain and Poem of the End to the more metaphysical later poems, An Attempt at a Room, Poem of the Mountain, a beautiful requiem for Rainer Maria Rilke, New Year’s Greetings, and Poem of the Air, a stirring celebration of Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight and the quest for the soul’s freedom. These translations were first published by Ardis in 1998 and reprinted by Overlook in 2004 and 2009. The current edtion was published by Shearsman Press (UK) in 2021.
Sergey Gandlevsky’s 2002 novel Illegible has a double-time focus, centering on the immediate experiences of Lev Krivorotov, a twenty-year-old poet living in Moscow in the 1970s, as well as his retrospective meditations thirty years later after most of his hopes have foundered.