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Book Title: Ranskalainen testamentti|
The author of the book: Andreï Makine
Date of issue: 1998
ISBN: No data
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Format files: PDF
The size of the: 551 KB
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"Dreams of My Russian Summers" tells the poignant story of a boy growing up amid the harsh realities of Soviet life in the 1960s and '70s, and of his extraordinary love for an elegant Frenchwoman, Charlotte Lemonnier, who is his grandmother. Every summer he visits his grandmother in a dusty village overlooking the vast steppes. Here, during the warm evenings, they sit on Charlotte's narrow, flower-covered bacony and listen to tales from another time, another place: Paris at the turn of the century. She who used to see Proust playing tennis in Neuilly captivates the children with stories of Tsar Nicholas's visit to Paris in 1896, of the great Paris flood of 1910, of the death of French president Felix Faure in the arms of his mistress. But from Charlotte the boy also learns of a Russia he has never known, of famine and misery, of brutal injustice, of the hopeless chaos of war. He follows her as she travels by foot from Moscow half the way to Siberia; suffers with her as she tells of her husband - his grandfather - a victim of Stalin's purges; shudders as she describes her own capture by bandits, who brutalize her and left her for dead. Could all this pain and suffering really have happened to his gentle, beloved Charlotte? Mesmerized, the boy weaves Charlotte's stories into his own secret universe of memory and dream. Yet, despite all the deprivations and injustices of the Soviet world, he like many Russians still feels a strong affinity with and "an indestructible love" for his homeland.
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Read information about the authorAndreï Makine was born in Krasnoyarsk, Soviet Union on 10 September 1957 and grew up in city of Penza, a provincial town about 440 miles south-east of Moscow. As a boy, having acquired familiarity with France and its language from his French-born grandmother (it is not certain whether Makine had a French grandmother; in later interviews he claimed to have learnt French from a friend), he wrote poems in both French and his native Russian.
In 1987, he went to France as member of teacher's exchange program and decided to stay. He was granted political asylum and was determined to make a living as a writer in French. However, Makine had to present his first manuscripts as translations from Russian to overcome publishers' skepticism that a newly arrived exile could write so fluently in a second language. After disappointing reactions to his first two novels, it took eight months to find a publisher for his fourth, Le testament français. Finally published in 1995 in France, the novel became the first in history to win both the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Medicis plus the Goncourt des Lycéens.
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