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Book Title: Confessions of a Fallen Standard-Bearer|
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The author of the book: Andreï Makine
Edition: Penguin Books
Date of issue: September 1st 2001
ISBN 13: 9780142000014
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 21.38 MB
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Confessions of a Fallen Standard-Bearer is the moving tale of two families, those of Yakov Zinger and Pyotr Yevdokimov, fathers of the young pioneers. Inseparable, both men have survived the devastating war against the Germans, with all its horror and senseless carnage. Yakov - or Yasha, as he was known - emerged physically intact but scarred forever from the moment he had been lifted out of a mountain of frozen bodies at a camp in liberated Poland. Pyotr, a skilled sniper who operated behind the German lines, lost both his legs, not at the hands of the Germans but as an "unfortunate artillery mistake" by his own forces." "During these postwar years of hardship and repression, the two families try to piece together their shattered lives. Arkady and Alyosha grow up and go their separate ways, Arkady to Leningrad and mathematics school, Alyosha the narrator to the Savorov military academy, later to become an army officer who takes part in the grisly Afghanistan war. Eventually both emigrate to the West, Arkady to the States, Alyosha to Paris. It is to Arkady that, in the opening pages of this masterful novel, Alyosha addresses these remembrances of their parents' ordinary heroism and their gradual awakening from the counterfeit glories of the Soviet dream.
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Read information about the authorAndreï Makine was born in Krasnoyarsk, Soviet Union on 10 September 1957 and grew up in city of Penza, a provincial town about 440 miles south-east of Moscow. As a boy, having acquired familiarity with France and its language from his French-born grandmother (it is not certain whether Makine had a French grandmother; in later interviews he claimed to have learnt French from a friend), he wrote poems in both French and his native Russian.
In 1987, he went to France as member of teacher's exchange program and decided to stay. He was granted political asylum and was determined to make a living as a writer in French. However, Makine had to present his first manuscripts as translations from Russian to overcome publishers' skepticism that a newly arrived exile could write so fluently in a second language. After disappointing reactions to his first two novels, it took eight months to find a publisher for his fourth, Le testament français. Finally published in 1995 in France, the novel became the first in history to win both the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Medicis plus the Goncourt des Lycéens.
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