Love Like Water, Love Like Fire

Available May 04, 2021

304 pages

Trade Paper

List Price US $16.99
ISBN: 9781942658566


ISBN: 9781942658573

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Love Like Water, Love Like Fire is an extraordinary book: funny and profound, moving and provocative. Rarely has life in the former USSR (or anywhere, for that matter) been portrayed with such a rich admixture of soaring observation and finely rendered detail. This is a gorgeously constructed collection by one of our wittiest and most insightful writers.”

Molly Antopol, author of The UnAmericans

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“Iossel is a genius, a comic visionary in the tradition of Gogol, Keret, Barthelme, and Saunders. Love Like Water, Love Like Fire is a book of surprises and delights.”

Brian Morton, author of Starting Out in the Evening and Florence Gordon

“[A] vibrant collection. . . . With an ear for the clumsiness of Russian bureaucratic nomenclature, an eye for Kafkaesque humiliations, and a heart that embraces all the paradoxes of being a Soviet Jew, Iossel casts a spell over the reader. Reading like Sholem Aleichem updated by Bruce Jay Friedman, these stories reflect the exciting evolution of Russian Jewish literature.”

Publishers Weekly

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“[An] engaging collection. . . . While many stories illuminate the absurdity of Soviet society, Iossel conveys the brutal oppression of the surveillance state most intensely, and hauntingly, in the title story.”

Kirkus Reviews

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From the moment of its founding, the USSR was reviled and admired, demonized and idealized. Many Jews saw the new society ushered in by the Russian Revolution as their salvation from shtetl life with its deprivations and deadly pogroms. But Soviet Russia was rife with antisemitism, and a Jewish boy growing up in Leningrad learned early, harsh, and enduring lessons.

Unsparing and poignant, Mikhail Iossel’s twenty stories of Soviet childhood and adulthood, dissidence and subsequent immigration, are filled with wit and humor even as they describe the daily absurdities of a fickle and often perilous reality.

Excerpt from Love Like Water, Love Like Fire

Available May 04, 2021

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Preview stories from Mikhail Iossel’s Love Like Water, Love Like Fire in the New Yorker.