Author(s): Andrei Makine
In Soviet Russia the desire for freedom is also a desire for the freedom to love. Lovers live as outlaws, traitors to the collective spirit, and love is more intense when it feels like an act of resistance. Now entering middle age, an orphan recalls the fleeting moments that have never left him - a scorching day in a blossoming orchard with a woman who loves another; a furtive, desperate affair in a Black Sea resort; the bunch of snowdrops a crippled childhood friend gave him to give to his lover. As the dreary Brezhnev era gives way to Perestroika and the fall of Communism, the orphan uncovers the truth behind the life of Dmitri Ress, whose tragic fate embodies the unbreakable bond between love and freedom.
Andrei Makine was born in Siberia, but writes his novels in French. Le Testament Francais was the winner of the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Medici, and the first novel to win both of these prestigious awards. Geoffrey Strachan has translated all Andrei Makine's novels published in English. He was awarded the Scott-Moncrieff Prize for Makine's Le Testament Francais.