Magazine article Russian Life


Magazine article Russian Life


Article excerpt


by Eugene Vodolazkin (Translated by Lisa Hayden, One World, $24.99)


Everything moved more slowly in the Middle Ages. Time and the universe were far less known--the sources of mystery and wonder, rather than the objects of science and math--but perhaps better understood. Stories traveled by mouth, people traveled on foot or, if they were lucky, on horseback. Journeys were more metaphorical, more all encompassing.

Arseny (aka Ustin, Amvrosy, Laurus) is a healer, born and raised in the midst of plague, educated in the traditions of herbalism and on the power of words to heal: "There was something in Arseny that eased lives that were anything but simple."

The tragic death of his beloved sets Arseny off on a journey of discovery and redemption--something beyond dangerous in the late fifteenth century, even for a healer. It will take him to Europe and Asia, then back to Russia again, in something far more than a single lifespan or individual could encompass. …

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