We’re Mad Keen On . . . Makine

Well, it’s not exactly news, since the contracts were fully executed even before the London Book Fair, but now that Geoffrey Strachan has delivered his customarily flawless translation, we can be even more delighted to announce that we will be publishing Andreï Makine’s Brief Loves that Lives Forever in June of next year.

Makine should be very well known to English readers already, as he and Mr Strachan have collaborated on a dozen or so previous books, including Le Testament Francais, which was a Goncourt-winner in French, and A Life’s Music, which is the best selling of his novels in English, according to BookScan at least. This Telegraph profile from 2004, tells the story of Makine’s arrival in France from Russia and his initial struggles to be published in his adopted language and country.

Brief Loves that Live Forever is set in the Soviet Union from the dreary Brezhnev era through to the collapse of Communism. Through a series of lucid, illuminating episodes, it explores love in all its forms — platonic, furtive, enduring, unrequited and misguided — and illuminates the difficulties of loving another under the watchful eye of Soviet Communism. And at its heart is one tantalising question: did sex bring down the Soviet Union?


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