A Replacement Life
A failing young Russian American journalist's life is unexpectedly transformed when he forges Holocaust restitution claims for his rogue grandfather and his friends
Slava Gelman wants to be a great writer, but can't get past his job as a lowly researcher at a New York magazine. Then his beloved grandmother dies, and his grandfather corners him with a request: to write a few Holocaust retribution claims that aren't quite true. Slava is reluctant, but when he gets into it, his semi-fictional accounts of a generation's real suffering turn out to be the best writing he has ever done - and a surprisingly wonderful way for Slava to reconnect with his family and his own roots. Although he lives in fear of discovery and continues to stumble from one tragicomic incident to another, by the time Slava is finally confronted by a German government employee he is ready to play a role that is - almost - heroic. A beautifully written, emotionally powerful literary debut about family love, memory and the truth in fiction.
Cover illustration by Jon Gray
Published 11 September 2014
C-Format Trade Paperback