The Year of the Comet


Product Details

$17.95  $16.69
New Vessel Press
Publish Date
5.2 X 0.8 X 7.9 inches | 0.57 pounds
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About the Author

Sergei Lebedev was born in Moscow in 1981 and worked for seven years on geological expeditions in northern Russia and Central Asia. Lebedev is a poet, essayist and journalist. Oblivion, his first novel, has been translated into many languages, and was published in English by New Vessel Press. Antonina W. Bouis is one of the leading translators of Russian literature working today. She has translated over 80 works from authors such as Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Mikhail Bulgakov, Andrei Sakharov, Sergei Dovlatov and Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. Bouis, previously executive director of the Soros Foundation in the former USSR, now lives in New York City.


"Sergei Lebedev writes about our failure to understand the Stalinist era and to see that Russia is today a country torn into pieces. Lebedev's characters seek ways to cut the umbilical cord with the past."--Svetlana Alexievich, 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

Examines the psychological trauma Stalinism continues to unleash--even on those who never lived during his reign ... Antonina W. Bouis has translated the best of Soviet and post-Soviet writings ... and the ease with which she renders Mr. Lebedev's prose creates the illusion that both his novels were originally written in English.--The Wall Street Journal

You read and reread Lebedev's lyrical, cutting prose with equal amounts of awe and enjoyment. This gorgeously written, unsettling novel--a rare work about the fall of the Soviet Union as told through the eyes of a child--leaves us with a fresh understanding of that towering moment in recent history.--Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Arrives like a brilliant meteoric streak to illuminate the intricacies of Russian national identity and the cataclysmic fall of the Soviet Union ... Poetic and penetrating, and demonstrating an incredible talent for nuance and paradox ... One of the best books of the year, and may be one of the best novels to come out of Russia in a generation.--Shelf Awareness (Starred Review)

Depicts objects in a stunningly, almost freakishly precise way, coaxing the metaphysical to express itself through the material ... In The Year of the Comet, coming of age is not about first love, or the discovery of sexuality, it is rather about the fatefulness of action.--The Times Literary Supplement

Explores the thrills and failures of the late Soviet Union through the eyes of a young boy. Both a coming-of-age story and the tale of a family cut off from its history, The Year of the Comet is a touching portrait of bonds that span generations.--World Literature Today

Gorgeously written ... leaves readers with a new insight into a towering moment in modern history.--The Winnipeg Free Press

The work of an extremely talented writer whose prose is spare and exact and has an authenticity that marks him as the real thing.--The Arts Fuse

Absorbing ... A seamlessly written child's-eye view that conveys an adult understanding of history's burdens.--Library Journal (Starred Review)

"A remarkable bildungsroman ... a smart, convincing novel."--Publishers Weekly

Sergei Lebedev, now a confirmed new Russian literary star, masterfully proceeds with his work.--Le Figaro littéraire

Praise for Sergei Lebedev's previous novelOblivion

A clear poetic sensibility built to stand against the forces of erasure.--The Wall Street Journal

Beautifully written, haunting and unputdownable. A masterpiece novel.--Edward Lucas, senior editor, The Economist