A Hero in His Time

A Hero in His Time

by Arthur A. Cohen
     
 

All his life Yuri Maximovich Isakovsky, a minor Russian poet, editor of a journal of folk music, sometime English translator, has assiduously avoided power and politics—in fact, attention of any kind. How can it be, then, that the Soviet government has chosen him to attend a conference in the fabled land of bourgeois temptation itself, New York City? And not

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Overview

All his life Yuri Maximovich Isakovsky, a minor Russian poet, editor of a journal of folk music, sometime English translator, has assiduously avoided power and politics—in fact, attention of any kind. How can it be, then, that the Soviet government has chosen him to attend a conference in the fabled land of bourgeois temptation itself, New York City? And not only that, but to do a "piece of work" for the KGB, to deliver a code message embedded in the text of a certain poem to be read in public along with his own . . .

"Cohen has achieved here a tour de force, bringing the idea of poetry to life in a messy little man, no hero at all, not even that much of a poet. . . . [The novel] is stately as well as funny, an authentically noble account of a celebrant. . . . It is the true article."—Geoffrey Wolff, New York Times Book Review

"Arthur Cohen catches fire. . . . A Hero in His Time represents for him a great imaginative leap, for we are shown the interior mental landscape of a middle-aged Russian-Jewish minor poet and . . . most astonishing is that we believe, without question, in this poet."—Doris Grumbach, Village Voice

"A tremendous achievement. . . . To have made this tremendous imaginative leap from the heart of American Jewishness to the heart of Russian Jewishness was a daring thing to do, and it has been accomplished with absolute conviction."—The Sunday Times (London)

"A rich compound of high seriousness and robust comedy."—Newsweek

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226112527
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
01/28/1988
Series:
Phoenix Fiction Series
Edition description:
1
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
5.27(w) x 7.97(h) x 0.63(d)

Meet the Author

Arthur A. Cohen (1928-1986), novelist, essayist, and theologian, received the Edward Lewis Wallant Award in 1973 for In the Days of Simon Stern and the National Jewish Book Award in 1984. His A People Apart was nominated for a National Book Award in 1972. Cohen's novels Acts of Theft and In the Days of Simon Stern are also available in Phoenix Fiction paperback editions from the University of Chicago Press.

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