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Winterland: A Novel
In 1970, in an Arctic town on the far edge of the Soviet Union, a young mother disappears leaving a mystery that haunts her husband and daughter. In the years that follow, Anya becomes a gymnast, part of the grueling state system. Her world is a small constellation: her father Yuri, a one-time crusader for the Party, her friend Sveta, whose fate soon veers sharply from Anya’s, her neighbor Vera, an old woman who survived ten years in a Gulag camp, and her coach Anatoly, both cruel and tender, who will push her as far as she can go. At the national training center outside Moscow Anya meets fellow gymnast Elena who will change everything.
From the wild tundra of Norilsk to the glittering heights of the golden age of Soviet gymnastics to gritty late-nineties Brooklyn, Winterland is the story of a woman—and an era—shaped by glory and loss, about forging a life when you no longer are what you were.