The Dream Life Of Sukhanov

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0120120213

It's the summer of 1985. Gorbachev is in the Kremlin and the first breezes of change are in the air. But for now, Anatoly Pavlovich Sukhanov (Tolya) is at the height of his prestige. He is the best-known art critic in the Soviet Union - editor-in-chief of Art of the World - with a grace-and-favour Moscow apartment, a dacha, and a chauffeur-driven Volga.

His wife, Nina, is the daughter of Malinin, the most famous 'approved' artist in the Soviet Union, twice-winner of the Lenin Prize. But at a retrospective of Malinin's work, things start to unravel for Tolya.

Olga Grushin was born in Moscow in 1971 and spent her childhood in Moscow and Prague. In 1989 she became the first Soviet citizen to enrol for a full-time degree in the United States while retaining Soviet citizenship. In 2006 she was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists in 2007. She has published two novels: The Dream Life of Sukhanov (2006) and The Concert Ticket (published in the US as The Line) in April 2010. Olga lives in Washington D.C.

"A contemporary novel so good, I felt like buying 10 copies and sending them to friends"

The Independent

"It breathes new life into American literary fiction"

The Washington Post

Abridged by Jeremy Osborne

Directed by Marilyn Imrie

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

It is 1985 and life is about to change for the art critic Sukhanov.

0220120214

Leaving his father in laws exhibition Sukhanov encounters an old friend of his youth; the artist Belkin; clearly reaching middle age with none of the success Sukhanov enjoys. Belkin invites Sukhanov and Nina to his own exhibition.

The encounter unsettles Sukhanov, with memories of his early life and friendship, and what has changed since then.

Olga Grushin was born in Moscow in 1971 and spent her childhood in Moscow and Prague. In 1989 she became the first Soviet citizen to enrol for a full-time degree in the United States while retaining Soviet citizenship. In 2006 she was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists in 2007.

She has published two novels: The Dream Life of Sukhanov (2006) and The Concert Ticket (published in the US as The Line) in April 2010. Olga lives in Washington D.C.

Abridged by Jeremy Osborne

Directed by Marilyn Imrie

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

Sukhanov is disconcerted by an encounter with an old friend and by his wife's behaviour.

0320120215

The art critic and writer Sukhanov visits his mother, who has acquired a canary, and later, in a street near her apartment, an encounter with a flock of pigeons triggers a dream memory for him of his father showing him metal birds wings designed so that a man could fly using them.

Unsettled by this, Sukhanov returns home to supper with his family and discovers that his wife has replaced the painting lent to his father in law's exhibition with an early painting by his old friend Belkin depicting Leda and the swan. Unable to sleep, Sukhanov returns to the paining in the night and it seems to him his wife has become Leda in the portrait...

Olga Grushin was born in Moscow in 1971 and spent her childhood in Moscow and Prague. In 1989 she became the first Soviet citizen to enrol for a full-time degree in the United States while retaining Soviet citizenship.

In 2006 she was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists in 2007. She has published two novels: The Dream Life of Sukhanov (2006) and The Concert Ticket (published in the US as The Line) in April 2010. Olga lives in Washington D.C.

Abridged by Jeremy Osborne

Directed by Marilyn Imrie

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

Sukhanov's encounter with a flock of pigeons and a painting prompt disturbing dreams.

0420120216

Sukhanov has dismissed their housekeeper Valya, accusing her of stealing his collection of ties, now missing from the apartment.

In the middle of a bleak family supper - haunted by Sukhanov's hazy childhood memories of his father - a youngish bearded stranger, complete with large suitcase, arrives, clearly expecting to lodge with the family.

He is apparently a cousin of Sukhanov's, whose mother has suggested to him that he stay with them, although his letter announcing this has not reached Sukhanov. The family resent the intrusion but are forced to accept Fyodor Dalevich's presence, and Nina gives him their bedroom.

Olga Grushin was born in Moscow in 1971 and spent her childhood in Moscow and Prague. In 1989 she became the first Soviet citizen to enrol for a full-time degree in the United States while retaining Soviet citizenship. In 2006 she was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists in 2007. She has published two novels: The Dream Life of Sukhanov (2006) and The Concert Ticket (published in the US as The Line) in April 2010. Olga lives in Washington D.C.

Abridged by Jeremy Osborne

Directed by Marilyn Imrie

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

Sukhanov's home life becomes more fraught when a cousin arrives to stay unexpectedly.

0520120217

Sukhanov's cousin and erstwhile lodger challenges his thinking on the painter Dali. His drunk son Vasily challenges everything about the way in which his father has lived his life in the last thirty years, and his wife Nina goes to the theatre without him, wearing new silver earrings and scented with lily of the valley cologne.

Olga Grushin was born in Moscow in 1971 and spent her childhood in Moscow and Prague. In 1989 she became the first Soviet citizen to enrol for a full-time degree in the United States while retaining Soviet citizenship. In 2006 she was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists in 2007. She has published two novels: The Dream Life of Sukhanov (2006) and The Concert Ticket (published in the US as The Line) in April 2010. Olga lives in Washington D.C.

Abridged by Jeremy Osborne

Directed by Marilyn Imrie

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

Sukhanov is assailed by self-doubt and, in a dream, relives his father's death.

0620120220

Sukhanov discovers that a controversial article offered for publication in the magazine he edits - by a certain D. M. Fyodorov - is in fact written by his erstwhile lodger and cousin. The issue of whether to publish it in his Art newspaper becomes for Sukhanov a question of deciding whether to stick to his guns about the policy and doctrines of the paper as he has always upheld them, or to anticipate and embrace the introduction of new policies and new, and to him subversive, ways of thinking about Art.

Set in the dawning days of Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika, The Dream Life of Sukhanov is the story of one man's battle with his true nature amidst the Soviet state's struggle with its own identity. Olga Grushin opens a window on to the soul of an artist who cannot escape his own vision amidst a transient and unsettling world.

Olga Grushin was born in Moscow in 1971 and spent her childhood in Moscow and Prague. In 1989 she became the first Soviet citizen to enrol for a full-time degree in the United States while retaining Soviet citizenship. In 2006 she was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and named one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists in 2007. She has published two novels: The Dream Life of Sukhanov (2006) and The Concert Ticket (published in the US as The Line) in April 2010. Olga lives in Washington D.C.

"A stunning fictional debut": The Independent

"Haunting": The Observer

"Heartbreaking": Vogue

"Wonderful": Daily Telegraph

"It breathes new life into American literary fiction": The Washington Post

Abridged by Jeremy Osborne

Reader: Robert Glenister

Directed by Marilyn Imrie

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

Sukhanov discovers apparent betrayal everywhere - at work, from his lodger and his wife.

0720120221

When Sukhanov returns early from a friend's dinner party which, it turned out, had happened the night before, he finds his apartment invaded by friends of his daughter's, including her married lover, Boris Tumanov.

Sukhanov is given a couple of hallucinatory tablets by one of the crowd at the event, and quickly slips into a dream.

Set in the dawning days of Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika, The Dream Life of Sukhanov is the story of one man's battle with his true nature amidst the Soviet state's struggle with its own identity. Olga Grushin opens a window on to the soul of an artist who cannot escape his own vision amidst a transient and unsettling world.

Olga Grushin was born in Moscow in 1971 and spent her childhood in Moscow and Prague. In 1989 she became the first Soviet citizen to enrol for a full-time degree in the United States while retaining Soviet citizenship. In 2006 she was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and named one of Grant's Best Young American Novelists in 2007. She has published two novels: The Dream Life of Sukhanov (2006) and The Concert Ticket (published in the US as The Line) in April 2010. Olga lives in Washington D.C.

"A stunning fictional debut": The Independent

"Haunting": The Observer

"Heartbreaking": Vogue

"Wonderful": Daily Telegraph

"It breathes new life into American literary fiction"

The Washington Post

Abridged by Jeremy Osborne

Reader: Robert Glenister

Directed by Marilyn Imrie

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

Sukhanov's daughter leaves home, and his colleague tells him not to come to work.

0820120222

Nina and Sukhanov meet at the Dacha and she tells him she wants to stay there for a while on her own, not because she want to leave him, but simply for some peace and reflection.

Nina says she hopes their children will not mess up their lives and abandon their dreams as they have done; she also says that she did not marry Sukhanov expecting happiness.

Sukhanov, devastated by this, returns alone late that night to Moscow by train...

Set in the dawning days of Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika, The Dream Life of Sukhanov is the story of one man's battle with his true nature amidst the Soviet state's struggle with its own identity. Olga Grushin opens a window on to the soul of an artist who cannot escape his own vision amidst a transient and unsettling world.

Olga Grushin was born in Moscow in 1971 and spent her childhood in Moscow and Prague. In 1989 she became the first Soviet citizen to enrol for a full-time degree in the United States while retaining Soviet citizenship. In 2006 she was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and named one of Grant's Best Young American Novelists in 2007. She has published two novels: The Dream Life of Sukhanov (2006) and The Concert Ticket (published in the US as The Line) in April 2010. Olga lives in Washington D.C.

"A stunning fictional debut": The Independent

"Haunting": The Observer

"Heartbreaking": Vogue

"Wonderful": Daily Telegraph

"It breathes new life into American literary fiction"

The Washington Post

Abridged by Jeremy Osborne

Directed by Marilyn Imrie

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

Nina remains alone in the dacha, while Sukhanov returns to Moscow, in a haunted dream.

0920120223

Sukhanov returns to Moscow on a train after leaving Nina at the Dacha, and in a dream finds himself in 1957, with Nina showing him a secret storehouse of paintings forbidden to be viewed in public. Malevich, Filonov, Kandinsky, Chagall - legendary Russian artists whose works he has never seen.

He feels anger at the country that has condemned its greatest masters to oblivion, but realises that Nina believes that he can be, and perhaps already is, as great as they are.

Set in the dawning days of Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika, The Dream Life of Sukhanov is the story of one man's battle with his true nature amidst the Soviet state's struggle with its own identity. Olga Grushin opens a window on to the soul of an artist who cannot escape his own vision amidst a transient and unsettling world.

Olga Grushin was born in Moscow in 1971 and spent her childhood in Moscow and Prague. In 1989 she became the first Soviet citizen to enrol for a full-time degree in the United States while retaining Soviet citizenship. In 2006 she was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and named one of Grant's Best Young American Novelists in 2007. She has published two novels: The Dream Life of Sukhanov (2006) and The Concert Ticket (published in the US as The Line) in April 2010. Olga lives in Washington D.C.

"A stunning fictional debut": The Independent

"Haunting": The Observer

"Heartbreaking": Vogue

"Wonderful": Daily Telegraph

"It breathes new life into American literary fiction"

The Washington Post

Abridged by Jeremy Osborne

Directed by Marilyn Imrie

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

In a dream Sukhanov recalls 1963, marrying Nina, and having his paintings condemned.

10 LAST20120224

Sukhanov encounters Dalevich at his mother's apartment. He shows him some drawings of Sukhanov's given to Dalevich when he was a child. They remind him of his talent as an artist, long buried.

Sukhanov discovers that the paintings he thought had been kept in a cupboard in his mother's apartment had been destroyed by her long ago. She tells him that she was afraid that his talent would lead to no good.

Set in the dawning days of Mikhail Gorbachev's perestroika, The Dream Life of Sukhanov is the story of one man's battle with his true nature amidst the Soviet state's struggle with its own identity. Olga Grushin opens a window on to the soul of an artist who cannot escape his own vision amidst a transient and unsettling world.

Olga Grushin was born in Moscow in 1971 and spent her childhood in Moscow and Prague. In 1989 she became the first Soviet citizen to enrol for a full-time degree in the United States while retaining Soviet citizenship. In 2006 she was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and named one of Grant's Best Young American Novelists in 2007. She has published two novels: The Dream Life of Sukhanov (2006) and The Concert Ticket (published in the US as The Line) in April 2010. Olga lives in Washington D.C.

"A stunning fictional debut": The Independent

"Haunting": The Observer

"Heartbreaking": Vogue

"Wonderful": Daily Telegraph

"It breathes new life into American literary fiction"

The Washington Post

Abridged by Jeremy Osborne

Directed by Marilyn Imrie

A Sweet Talk Production for BBC Radio 4.

Nina's enduring love for Sukhanov is confirmed and he feels inspired to paint again.