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The Light and the Dark

Mikhail Shishkin

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Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Fiction in translation

Picture two people, young and in love. Picture them being separated from one another. Picture them keeping their love alive through letters. But now imagine they've not just been separated geographically, but also historically. Imagine that their love and letters now defy time and place, life and death...

Fate sends two star-crossed lovers, Sasha and Volodenka, on two separate journeys across space and time. Sasha finds herself as a young woman in a time not far from the present day. Volodenka finds himself as a young soldier in a horrific conflict at the turn of the twentieth century.

Yet, despite their cosmic schism, their letters still reach one another; as he helps her to come to terms with life and she helps him to come to terms with death.

Half male, half female; half exploration of the physical and the immediate, half meditation on the intangible and the infinite, The Light and the Dark is a literary feat as balanced and beautiful as it is prodigious and profound.

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