Author(s): Maria Reva
This brilliant, bitingly funny novel-in-stories about extraordinary characters living in a crumbling apartment building heralds the arrival of a major new talent.
"Maria Reva is a miracle writer: how else to explain how dark and suffused with light these stories are, how hilarious and very serious, how entertaining and thought provoking? You've never read anything like them. . . . A deeply exciting book." --Elizabeth McCracken, author of Bowlaway
In the late 1980s, in Soviet-era Ukraine, a bureaucratic glitch omits an apartment building from municipal records. Officially, 1933 Ivansk Street does not exist--and nor do its inhabitants. So begins Maria Reva's entwined stories about the fascinating, inventive people who live in the doomed building. As these benighted denizens weather the neglect of the authorities, they devise ever-more ingenious ways to survive. Connecting the narratives is an unforgettable, chameleon-like girl named Zaya: an orphan for whom the mysterious building becomes an unlikely refuge.
Good Citizens Need Not Fear takes us from absurdity to surprising tenderness and back again, exploring what it means to be an individual amidst the roiling forces of history. Inspired by her family's own experiences in Ukraine, in this electric debut Reva combines the dark humour of Gary Shteyngart, the empathy of Miriam Toews, and the clever interconnectedness of Anthony Marra's The Tsar of Love and Techno.