Florence Fein, a recent college graduate, defies expectations and takes a job in Moscow in 1930's. Florence's story is picked up her son, Julian, and his son, Lenny. Traversing the 1930's to the 1950' to 2008, switching between New York city and Moscow, this brilliantly executed tale brims with indelible characters living as Americans in Moscow during the Cold War and its aftermath. The power of propaganda and Florence's determination, in spite of a 7-year prison term, doesn't weaken her commitment to stay in Moscow. Even when forced as an elderly woman to join her family in the U.S., Florence never sacrifices her ideals, never criticizes the Soviet Union!
A sweeping multigenerational novel about idealism, betrayal, and family secrets set in the U.S. and Russia, from one of Granta's Best of Young American Novelists When the Great Depression hits, Florence Fein leaves Brooklyn College for what appears to be a plum job in Moscow--and the promise of love and independence. But once in Russia, she quickly becomes entangled in a country she can't escape. Many years later, Florence's son, Julian, will make the opposite journey, immigrating back to the United States. His work in the oil industry takes him on frequent visits to Moscow, and when he learns that Florence's KGB file has been opened, he arranges a business trip to uncover the truth about his mother, and to convince his son, Lenny, who is trying to make his fortune in the new Russia, to return home. What he discovers is both chilling and heartbreaking: an untold story of what happened to a generation of Americans abandoned by their country. The Patriots is a riveting evocation of the Cold War years, told with brilliant insight and extraordinary skill. Alternating between Florence's and Julian's perspectives, it is at once a mother-son story and a tale of two countries bound in a dialectic dance; a love story and a spy story; both a grand, old-fashioned epic and a contemporary novel of ideas. Through the history of one family moving back and forth between continents over three generations, The Patriots is a poignant tale of the power of love, the rewards and risks of friendship, and the secrets parents and children keep from one another. Praise for The Patriots "The Patriots is a historical romance in the old style: multigenerational, multi-narrative, intercontinental, laden with back stories and historical research, moving between scrupulous detail and sweeping panoramas, the first-person voice and a kaleidoscopic third, melodrama and satire, Cleveland in 1933 and Moscow in 2008."--Nathaniel Rich, The New York Times Book Review "Dazzling and addictive . . . an outstanding family saga."--The Spectator (U.K.) "Extraordinary . . . The Patriots has the weight of a classic."--Commentary Magazine "I found on every page an observation so acute, a sentence of such truth and shining detail, that it demanded re-reading for the sheer pleasure of it. The Patriots has convinced me that Krasikov belongs among the totemic young writers of her era."--Khaled Hosseini, author of And the Mountains Echoed and The Kite Runner "The Patriots is a masterwork, a Dr. Zhivago for our times."--Yann Martel, author of The High Mountains of Portugal and Life of Pi "Sana Krasikov's masterful The Patriots works that rare novelistic magic that can sweep us over tumultuous decades, illuminate the workings of history, and at the same time reveal the personal depths of rich, complex characters. This is one of the finest first novels I've read in ages."--Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Empire of Night and The Star of Istanbul "In a galvanizing tale of flawed and courageous protagonists, erotic and political passion, and harrowing struggles for survival, Krasikov masterfully and devastatingly exposes the 'whole dark clockwork' of totalitarianism and asks what it means to be a hero, a patriot, a human being."--Booklist (starred review) "Ambitious and compelling."--KirkusReviews (starred review)
About the Author
Sana Krasikov's debut short story collection, One More Year, was named a finalist for the 2009 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award and the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award, received a National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Award, and won the 2009 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker and The Atlantic, among other publications. Born in Ukraine, Krasikov grew up in the former Soviet republic of Georgia and New York, where she currently lives with her husband and their two children.