Brief Loves That Live Forever

Brief Loves That Live Forever
A Novel
Andreï Makine; Translated from the French by Geoffrey Strachan

Finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

“Dreamy and impressionistic. . . . [Makine’s] writing demonstrates psychological acuity and an intuitive feel for the telling detail.”New York Times Book Review

About the Book

A beautifully observed and moving account of love and the human spirit in the Soviet era
In Soviet Russia the desire for freedom is also a desire for the freedom to love. Lovers live as outlaws, traitors to the collective spirit, and love is more intense when it feels like an act of resistance. Now entering middle age, an orphan recalls the fleeting moments that have never left him—a scorching day in a blossoming orchard with a woman who loves another; a furtive, desperate affair in a Black Sea resort; the bunch of snowdrops a crippled childhood friend gave him to give to his lover. As the dreary Brezhnev era gives way to Perestroika and the fall of Communism, the orphan uncovers the truth behind the life of Dmitri Ress, whose tragic fate embodies the unbreakable bond between love and freedom.
“Makine has been compared to Stendhal, Tolstoy and Proust; our best historians of the Soviet era queue up to pronounce him one of the finest living writers on the period; and he is regularly tipped to be among the contenders for the next Nobel in literature.”—Daily Telegraph

Additional Reviews

“Elegant, powerful. . . . Like Proust, [Makine] pursues the ‘fleeting paradise’ found in unexpected moments of tenderness.”The New Yorker

“[Brief Loves that Live Forever] shows off [Makine’s] consistently, unabashedly sentimental prose (finely translated here by Mr. Makine’s longtime collaborator Geoffrey Strachan). And it conveys the deep seriousness with which he treats romance, the only force powerful enough to expose the empty stagecraft of politics.”Wall Street Journal

“Makine’s book recalls work by Kundera and Sebald, those grand Europeans who wrote elliptical works combining the personal with the global. Here, he wants no less to write an old-fashioned novel of ideas, and he succeeds because he always finds something strong and concrete on which to pin his loftier notions. . . . Moving and thoughtful, this novel—despite its slight frame—has a lot to say.”Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Poignant . . . every scenario has bite.”Library Journal, starred review

“Spare and evocative as poetry, [Brief Loves That Live Forever] is a gemstone of a novel, polished and luminous.”Publishers Weekly