With all the imaginative virtuosity he is known for, Andrei Makine has managed to construct a Russian doll-like novel, where the centuries overlap and replicate each other
By untangling the skein of two realities, two centuries apart, [Makine] has braided together art and life, fiction and reality
Andrei Makine takes on the centuries with a mastery worthy of the most scholarly historian . . . A magnetic novel
The visionary Makine has written yet another remarkable novel. A Woman Loved is about art, film-making, an artist's search for expression and a woman's desperate if despotic search for love. It is also about how ideas give life meaning. Above all, it is about Russia, past and present.
We are fortunate, in our own grey time, to have a novelist like Makine, and he has been fortunate in the translator who has brought all his books to the English-reading world. Geoffrey Strachan renders him perfectly into English. I have read Makine in both French and English, and Strachan contrives to make the English reading experience no different from reading the original French. This is remarkable.
Andreï Makine is among the most skilled and subtle authors working today, and this novel is one of his masterpieces.
This novel about a film-maker writing, and trying to make, a film about Catherine the Great, first under the supervision of Soviet censors and then in the mad days of the Yeltsin presidency when the oligarchs ran wild and became precariously rich, is one of his best. And that's very high praise.