Julie Lekstrom Himes (U.S.)Monday, May 15, 2017 @ 8 p.m.
Join us for a reading with Julie Lekstrom Himes who will debuting her new novel, Mikhail and Margarita.
It is 1933 and Mikhail Bulgakov’s career teeters on the brink of disaster. His mentor, the poet Osip Mandelstam, has been arrested, tortured, and exiled, and Anna Akhmatova’s son is being held by the Soviet regime to keep the famed poetess in line. Meanwhile, a mysterious agent of the secret police has grown obsessed with exposing Bulgakov as an enemy of the state. Facing arrest, and infatuated with the dangerously candid Margarita, he is inspired to write his anti-authoritarian masterpiece, The Master and Margarita.
Ranging from the homes of Moscow’s literary elite to the Siberian Gulag, Mikhail and Margarita tells the story of a passionate love triangle enmeshed in that of a country whose peerless literary tradition is at odds with its brutal dictatorship. Even the fierce love of two very different men cannot protect Margarita, a strong, idealistic woman, from the machinations of a regime hungry for human sacrifice.
Debut novelist Julie Lekstrom Himes launches a rousing defense of art and the artist during a time of systematic oppression, and movingly portrays the subversive effects of love on one of history’s most towering literary figures. Mikhail and Margarita is an ambitious, detailed fresco about life in Soviet Russia, with all the atmospheric specificity of The Gentleman of Moscow by Amor Towles and characters as compelling as Marie-Laure LeBlanc and Werner Pfenning in Anthony Doerr’s All The Light We Cannot See.
Julie Lekstrom Himes’ short fiction has been published in Shenandoah, The Florida Review (Editor’s Choice Award 2008), Fourteen Hills (nominated for Best American Mysteries 2011), The Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, and elsewhere. This is her debut novel. She is a physician and a researcher and lives with her family in Marblehead, Massachusetts.