The Archivist's Story

The Archivist's Story

3.52 (484 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Hardback
By (author) 

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Description

It is Moscow, in 1939. In the recesses of the infamous Lubyanka prison, a young archivist is sent to verify the authorship of an unfinished story, confiscated from one of the many political prisoners there. The writer is Isaac Babel. The great author of "Red Cavalry" is spending his last days forbidden to write, his final works consigned to the archivist, Pavel Dubrov - who will ultimately be charged with destroying them. Pavel, a former schoolmaster and a lover of literature, a reluctant minion in Stalin's system, makes a reckless decision: he will save the last stories of the writer he admires, whatever the cost. Pavel's daring in the face of a vast bureaucracy of evil invigorates a life that had slowly lost its meaning, even as it guarantees his almost certain undoing. A story of suspicion, courage and unexpected grace, "The Archivist's Story" is ultimately a tribute to the enduring power of the written word.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 135 x 216mm
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0747584192
  • 9780747584193
  • 1,770,693

About Travis Holland

Travis Holland has an MFA from the University of Michigan, where he was twice awarded the Avery and Jule Hopwood Award as well as the Meijer Award. His stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Glimmer Train and Five Points . He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is his first novel.show more

Review quote

Travis Holland writes exquisitely. THE ARCHIVIST'S STORY is that very rare book, a historical novel that makes us forget 'historical' and remember only 'novel' even as we take in hard historical fact - the archivist Pavel, living in the midst of Stalin's purges, could be any of us, and Holland conveys his world in indelible images. The beauty and reality of this novel linger long after one has read - reluctantly - its last page. Elizabeth Kostova, author of THE HISTORIAN 'A quietly miraculous book - uncannily persuasive in its rendering of a distant time and place, and deeply moving in its evocation of lives caught in the jaws of history. It's common to welcome a debut novel as "promising." This book is a promise perfectly and profoundly kept, its author one to read now and into the future.' Peter Ho Daviesshow more

Rating details

484 ratings
3.52 out of 5 stars
5 15% (72)
4 38% (184)
3 34% (166)
2 11% (52)
1 2% (10)
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