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Monster
Oil on Canvas

by Dmitry Zlotsky

A weirdly hilarious Russian fairytale featuring conjoined twins.

Our case history started with a dual image: Romulus and Remus suckling on a she-wolf. Kind Mother would surely excuse this lyrical embroidery. A bi-personal biographer will find our maternity ward in the nexus of crossroads, their tangle providing the foretaste of the fairy tale—turn right and lose your head, turn left and lose your mind, keep on straight and lose both. Welcome to life, chickabiddy. In a lame emulation of the local sky dome, the façade of Mother’s labor institution was painted dirty azure.

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"Zlotsky has done for conjoined twins what Gunter Grass did for midgets in The Tin Drum...A weirdly hilarious Russian fairytale composed with the comedic zeal of Gogol and the rhetorical brilliance of Nabokov."

Lee Siegel, Love in a Dead Language

Meet Alex & Alex, as compelling a Russian portrait as the two sides of Raskolnikov. He is—or they are—a dark-caped anti-hero, conjoined twins stalking, counterfeiting, fleeing, delightfully innocent. Their life, full of double entendre, of duality and duplicity, is spent pursuing Love (L’ubasha), Hope (Nad’usha), and finally Faith (Vera). They steal a painting from the State Art Collection, then flee Russia in an ongoing quest for the doctor who can “single out our anatomical antinomy.” A criminal caper entwined with a poignant international adoption story, Monster will delight fans of fabulist comedy with its presentation, in contrasts of nightmarish and loving, tragic and hilarious, of the grand delusion in which we all live.

“[A] modern-day, multi-limbed fairy tale… told with a gleeful love of the double, the pun, the anagrammatic twining of language, and an uncanny ability to perceive the depth at the heart of allegory. The fate of Alex and Alex winds in and around that of Fairy/Faith, a double-hearted silent orphan from another land, drawing to its delicious and unexpected denouement with the economy and grace of Grimm, and the ghost of Alexander Afanasyev.”
--Julie Carr, author of Equivocal

“A pure joy in language explodes from every page of this remarkable book… Nabokov's Pale Fire mated with Finnegan’s Wake.   Multilingual puns, witty references and a wild, twisting plot make Zlotsky's novel a unique literary achievement.”
--Michael Drout, author of Tolkien Studies

 

CATEGORY: Fiction, LeapLit
PAGES: 350
TRIM: 6 x 9
ISBN: 978-1-9352480-9-5
PRICE: $15.95/ Paperback Original


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