Red Crosses


By Sasha Filipenko

cover image of Red Crosses

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"Lays bare the . . . history of a ruthless Russian state with the story of an unlikely friendship between a young widower and a survivor of Stalin's gulag." —Publishers Weekly
Sasha Filipenko traces the arc of Russian history from Stalin's terror to the present day, in a novel full of heart and humanity.
One struggles not to forget, while the other would like nothing better. Tatiana Alexeyevna is an old woman, over ninety, rich in lived experience, and suffering from Alzheimer's. Every day, she loses a few more of her irreplaceable memories. Alexander is a young father whose life has been brutally torn in two by the untimely death of his wife.
Tatiana tells her young neighbor her life story, a story that encompasses the entire Russian 20th century with all its horrors and hard-won humanity.
Little by little, the old woman and the young man forge an unlikely friendship and make a pact against forgetting.
"A moving meditation on memory, forgetfulness, and the thirst for connection." —Oprah Daily
"If you want to get inside the head of modern, young Russia, read Filipenko." —Svetlana Alexievich, Nobel Prize–winning author of Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets
"The most interesting thing [about Red Crosses] was to hear the voice of a young writer, from a generation who barely knew the Soviet times, and to see how he grapples with the subject . . . Nothing unlocks the human soul as profoundly as a novel can." —Los Angeles Review of Books
"A tour de force. A book full of sound and fury, but also greatness and gentleness." —Le Figaro littéraire
Red Crosses