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Mother Doll : A Novel

Mother Doll : A Novel

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 A Most Anticipated Book of 2024 Selected By * The Millions * Chicago Review of Books * Hey Alma * Stylecaster * And Many More! *

Prize-winning author Katya Apekina’s Mother Doll is a sharp and visceral nesting doll of a novel, about four generations of mothers and daughters and the inherited trauma cast by Russian history.

“A profoundly moving story . . . Strange, wild, offbeat, and hilarious. I absolutely loved it.” —Lauren Groff
“Spellbinding, hallucinatory, and very funny . . . A rare achievement.” —Elif Batuman

Zhenia is adrift in Los Angeles, pregnant with a baby her husband doesn’t want, while her Russian grandmother and favorite person in the world is dying on the opposite coast. She’s deeply disconnected from herself and her desires when she gets a strange call from Paul, a psychic medium who usually specializes in channeling dead pets, with a message from the other side. Zhenia’s great-grandmother Irina, a Russian Revolutionary, has approached him from a cloud of ancestral grief, desperate to tell her story and receive absolution from Zhenia.

As Irina begins her confession with the help of a purgatorial chorus of grieving Russian ghosts, Zhenia awakens to aspects of herself she hadn’t been willing to confront. But does either woman have what the other needs to understand their predicament? Or will Irina be stuck in limbo, with Zhenia plagued by ancestral trauma, and her children after her?

Ferociously funny and deeply moving, Mother Doll forces us to look at how painful secrets stamp themselves from one generation to the next. Katya Apekina’s second novel is a family epic and a meditation on motherhood, immigration, identity, and war.