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'It is impossible to exaggerate the power of this short, unbearably poignant novel.' Mail on Sunday
'A bold and elegant novel' Helen Dunmore, Guardian
'A haunting story, beautifully told' Viv Groskop, Observer
An extraordinary story of love and endurance during the Siege of Leningrad lies at the heart of a magnificent novel about Russia past and present, and the human condition.
One night in St Petersburg, two men meet, both adrift in the brash new Russia: Shutov, a writer visiting after years of exile in Paris, and Volsky, an elderly survivor of the Siege of Leningrad and Stalin's purges. His life story - one of extreme suffering, courage and an extraordinary love - he considers unremarkable. To Shutov it is a revelation, the tale of an unsung hero that puts everything into perspective and suggests where true happiness lies.