Once more on Vlad’s blog.
I discovered Lyudmila Ulitskaya’s writing by pure chance. A happy one, I would add. In the spring of 2016, I was lucky enough to put my hands on the short story collection, Childhood and other stories. I really enjoyed reading it so I recommended it on this blog.
A while ago, in the show Guaranteed 100%, Lyudmila Ulitskaya was invited. A beautiful interview that you must not miss, you can access it here. I had to read the new novel, published at Humanitas Publishing House under the name of Imago, even if the original name of the novel (as it was published in Russian) is The Green Tent.
The action is gently narrated, in short chapters (maybe it’s a way of keeping the readers interested and not boring them with long chapters, and thus motivating them to keep reading despite the large number of pages; I have seen it also in another writer’s novels - Joël Dicker), just like removing one onion skin after another. After each skin, one sees the actions presented before from another point of view. I find it done very masterly, and the readers get to feel omniscient, just like the writer must have felt when writing it, for she makes small notes regarding future happenings.
The novel Imago tells the story of three boys’ friendship, from school to late in their lives. Family liaisons, school problems, dreams about the future, teenager issues, professors-mentors, didactic environment, professional life, personal life, all are dominated by one thing – the iron fist of communism. Fortunately, the fist is put into antithesis. With various ideals. And from the two, threads start. Threads that fight, that attract themselves, that cohabit and live to tell the story.