The Dream Life of Sukhanov
Title: The Dream Life of Sukhanov
Author: Olga Grushin
After losing his job and the respect of his family, Russian avant-garde artist Anatoly Sukhanov confronts his past in a series of dreams that reveals the sacrifices he has made to gain material wealth in twentieth-century Moscow.
A brilliantly crafted novel about one man’s betrayal of his talent, his friends, and his principles — a work of demon energy, startling imagery, and utter originality.
At fifty-six, Anatoly Sukhanov has everything a man could want. Nearly twenty-five years ago, he traded his precarious existence as a brilliant underground artist for the perks and comforts of a high-ranking Soviet apparatchik. Once he created art; now he censors it. His past is a shadow, repressed to the point of nonexistence. But a series of increasingly bizarre events transforms his perfect world into a nightmare. Buried dreams return to haunt him, his life begins to unravel, new political alignments in the Kremlin threaten to undo him, and little by little, he finds himself losing everything he sold his soul to gain.
Told in dream sequences that may be true, in real time that may be nightmares, in shifting time frames and voices, Olga Grushin’s novel is a highly sophisticated, often surreal exploration of self-dissolution, faithlessness, and transformation.