Michèle Roberts

Out of Steppe

Brief Loves that Live Forever

By

MacLehose Press 174pp £12 order from our bookshop

Andreï Makine, born and brought up in Russia and one of his country’s greatest novelists, writes in French. Brief Lives that Live Forever reaches us in its crisp, elegant English version thanks to Geoffrey Strachan, who has translated all of Makine’s novels published in English to date. The Russian language is not quite absent: important terms such as ‘gulag’ and ‘samizdat’ dot the text, bringing a vanished form of speech and a vanished social system into clear view. By retaining these significant Russian words in his translation, Strachan emphasises how Makine’s novel circles around themes of exile and loss. The presence of ‘official’ words to do with rules and regulations contrasts with the repression of others: love, desire, home, soul.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,
    • 'It is a scent of animal wrath, of instinctive need, of brutal life which affects the cultured nostrils of our civi… ,
    • 'The day produced countless stories of chance, of people taking one route or another without realising that the dec… ,
    • In this month's 'Silenced Voices', looks at the case of Azimjon Askarov, the journalist and human rights… ,