A Partial History of Lost Causes

. 978-1-40006-977-4. Fiction
Thirty-year-old lecturer Irina Ellison knows that she possesses the genetic markers that point to early-onset Huntington's disease. Having watched her father die of the condition, Irina organizes her life to minimize its impact. She intends to leave no loose ends behind her, and that includes tying up one of her late father's unanswered letters to Soviet-era chess champion-turned-politician Aleksandr Bezetov. We move back and forth from Aleksandr's early chess career and introduction to the political underground in 1980s Leningrad to Irina's contemporary efforts to locate him and ask the question her father had posed to him: How does one proceed against a lost cause? As Bezetov campaigns against an unbeatable Vladimir Putin, the question takes on fresh relevance for all.
VERDICT In her promising debut, Stanford Fellow and playwright duBois presents a tender tale, told with humor and honesty. An engrossing read with a historical twist and a dash of politics; point this one out to any contemporary fiction fan. [See Prepub Alert, 9/11/11.]

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