A sweeping multigenerational debut novel about idealism, betrayal, and family secrets that takes us from Brooklyn in the 1930s to Soviet Russia to post-Cold War America
When the Great Depression hits, Florence Fein leaves Brooklyn College for what appears to be a plum job in Moscow—and the promise of love and independence. But once in Russia, she quickly becomes entangled in a country she can’t escape. Many years later, Florence’s son, Julian, will make the opposite journey, immigrating back to the United States. His work in the oil industry takes him on frequent visits to Moscow, and when he learns that Florence’s KGB file has been opened, he arranges a business trip to uncover the truth about his mother, and to convince his son, Lenny, who is trying to make his fortune in the new Russia, to return home. What he discovers is both chilling and heartbreaking: an untold story of what happened to a generation of Americans abandoned by their country.
The Patriots is a riveting evocation of the Cold War years, told with brilliant insight and extraordinary skill. Alternating between Florence’s and Julian’s perspectives, it is at once a mother-son story and a tale of two countries bound in a dialectic dance; a love story and a spy story; both a grand, old-fashioned epic and a contemporary novel of ideas. Through the history of one family moving back and forth between continents over three generations, The Patriots is a poignant tale of the power of love, the rewards and risks of friendship, and the secrets parents and children keep from one another.
Sana Krasikov was born in Ukraine and grew up in the former Soviet republic of Georgia before immigrating to New York. She has since lived in Moscow and, more recently, Nairobi. Her debut collection ONE MORE YEAR went on to be translated into eleven languages and selected for the National Book Foundation's "5 under 35" Award. It won the 2009 Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and the New York Public Library’s Young Lions prize. To research her first novel, THE PATRIOTS, Sana traveled to the oil fields of Texas and KGB record warehouses in Moscow. Sana lives in the Hudson Valley with her husband and two children.