“A haunting, often very tender story written in a kind of meditative fury . . . Makine has written one of the best novels about Africa in a long time” (The Guardian).
 
Love for another person. Love for humanity as a whole. Are the two compatible or mutually exclusive? In his most ambitious novel since Dreams of My Russian Summers, Andreï Makine takes us into the heart of Africa. His hero is Elias Almeida, a black revolutionary whose father was killed when Elias was still a child, and whose mother, to feed him, was forced to prostitute herself. Saved from death by a Catholic priest, Elias becomes a brilliant pupil destined for greatness. However, the memory of his parents turns him into an important cog in the worldwide revolutionary movement, sending him to Cuba and the Soviet Union to be trained for espionage and sabotage. He begins in his native Angola, still struggling to liberate itself from the colonial yoke, and moves to other political hot spots. But what happens when a black revolutionary dedicated to bettering the world falls in love with a white woman who wants only to live a peaceful, simple life?
 
“[A] powerful meditation on the price of ideology and the nature of love.” —The Daily Mail
 
“Makine’s prose . . . injects a sense of beauty into even the most horrific descriptions of depravity . . . This, his tenth novel, is a movement toward hope.” —Foreword Reviews
 
“Andreï Makine has witnessed history transform his country. His sombre, perceptive fiction reflects each ebb and flow; his quiet voice is unique. Even here, in one of his minor works, he again articulates the profundity of human experience—no small feat.” —The Irish Times
From the acclaimed author of the award-winning Dreams of My Russian Summers: “A powerful picture of a society that has lost its way” (Historical Novel Society).
 
Set in the Soviet Union from World War II until the early 1990s, A Hero’s Daughter portrays the rise and decline of the Soviet Union through the story of Ivan Dimitrovich Davidov and his family. For his extraordinary bravery and courage beyond the call of duty at the Battle of Stalingrad, Ivan is awarded his country’s highest military honor: Hero of the Soviet Union. Married after the war to Tatyana, the medical orderly who found him barely breathing amid a pile of corpses after another apocalyptic battle late in the war, they have a daughter, Olya, who grows up in the glow of her father’s reputation.
 
In 1980, the beautiful Olya, now seventeen, assigned as an interpreter during the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games, commits an indiscretion with a French athlete that throws her straight into the waiting arms of the KGB. As the years roll by, Olya, more and more deeply implicated in espionage, despairs at her fate as a “political prostitute,” while her father, equally used by the State, becomes increasingly disillusioned and unruly, until he is arrested for drunken and disorderly conduct. Finally the lives of father and daughter intersect in an utterly moving and heartrending conclusion.
 
“Nobody surpasses Makine as a maker of stunning visuals . . . He may really be his generation’s Chekhov and Proust.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
“A remarkable novel . . . Enormously powerful.” —TheDaily Mail
 
“It carries the unmistakable stamp of historical and human truth . . . Subtle and powerful.” —The Sunday Telegraph
The summer of ’47. In the sleepy town of Villiers-la-Forêt, roughly an hour from Paris, the peaceful radiance of the day is interrupted by the discovery that, along a nearby riverbank, the body of a man has washed up, a gaping wound in his skull. Beside him rests a beautiful, nearly bare-breasted woman, her dress soaked and in tatters. An accident or foul play? A crime of passion? Soon there are almost as many speculations and theories as there are townspeople. The woman, it turns out, is a Russian princess, Olga Arbyelina, a refugee from the Bolshevik revolution who in the 1930s had settled in town along with many of her compatriots. Rumor was that Olga's husband, a dashing prince given to gambling and revels, had deserted her some years after the couple's arrival in France, leaving her alone to care for their young son. About the victim, also a Russian refugee, little is known: many years Olga's elder, he was a taciturn, rather coarse, slightly ridiculous man name Sergei Golets, thought dismissively to be a former horse butcher. What on earth could have brought these two unlikely souls together?

Makine meticulously re-creates Olga's past—her enchanted childhood; her pampered youth and fevered, transitory embrace of the revolution; her arduous flight toward freedom; her encounter with the dashing White Army officer who saved her life; her marriage and arrival in France; the birth of her adored son. Love has its limits, its limitations and boundaries. But in a woman of great passion, what do such limits mean when you know that each day may be the last for your son?
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