Nina Berberova's debut novel, translated for the first time into English, is an intense story about the struggle for émigré life's future.
Trouble arrives at the Gorbatovs' farm on a crisp September morning. They endured excruciating labor to establish a small farm in Provence after fleeing the ruins of the Russian Revolution. This is the future of Russian life in France for young Ilya Stepanovich; for some of his Paris-based countrymen, it is a betrayal of roots, culture, and the path back to the motherland.
A plot to entice Ilya's step-brother Vasya back to Russia is now threatening their fragile stability, thanks to the arrival of a letter from the capital and a figure from the family's past. Nina Berberova dramatizes the passionate internal struggles of a generation of Russian émigrés in prose of masterful poise and restraint; translated for the first time into English by the acclaimed Marian Schwartz, The Last and the First marks a unique contribution to Russian literature.... Read More