An Evening with Claire by Gaito Gazdanov

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Two old friends meet nightly in Paris, after a separation of ten years. Trading conversational barbs and manoeuvring around submerged feelings, Claire and Kolya resume what fate interrupted. When their long-imagined romance at last becomes reality, Kolya is engulfed by memories of Russia, from a tragic and solitary childhood to the disorientating ordeal of civil war.

As his haunting recollection takes shape, so too does a portrait of lost youth set against the trauma of a vanished homeland. Written when Gazdanov was just twenty-six, An Evening with Claire is the celebrated Russian master's debut novel. Melancholic and lyrical, it is a powerful distillation of the quintessential émigré experience: caught between two worlds, belonging to neither.

Paperback