Granta Best of Young American Novelists 2017. The Tsar of Love and Techno begins in 1930s Leningrad, where a failed portrait artist employed by Soviet censors must erase political dissenters from official images and artworks. One day, he receives an antique painting of a dacha inside a box of images due to be altered. The mystery behind this painting threads together the stories that follow, which take us through a century and introduce a cast of characters including a Siberian beauty queen, a young soldier in the battlefields of Chechnya, the Head of the Grozny Tourist Bureau, a ballerina performing for the camp director of a gulag and many others. Praise for A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: "Storytelling of magical purity, illuminated by hope...Marra is a magnificent writer". (The Times). "Extraordinary...a 21st-century War and Peace". (New York Times Book Review). "An absolute masterpiece". (Sarah Jessica Parker, Entertainment Weekly).
"Shares much with David Mitchell's expansive Cloud Atlas, and it wears its blend of dry humour and tragedy very well... impressive" -- Observer Ben East "Gripping... painful and powerful, with welcome flashes of ironic humour, too" -- John Sunyer Financial Times "Marra creates an unnerving story of a world, then and now, dominated by untouchable authorities that operate at every social level... a writer of intelligence, wit and sensitivity, adept at telling stories that entertain but also create the sensation that they are not so strange as fiction" -- George Berridge Times Literary Supplement "A work of extraordinary confidence and empathy... a distinctive and heady fictional cocktail... thoroughly entertaining" -- Liam Hess Literary Review "Marra's sharp prose is alternatively ironic and poetic, giving a sympathetic voice to the most dispossessed characters...A memorable book on memory and how we try to remember'" -- Stephen Coulson Lady
Anthony Marra's first novel was A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (2013), which won an array of prizes including the National Book Critics Circle's John Leonard Prize, the Barnes and Noble Fiction Discover Award, the Grand Prix des Lectrices de Elle and the Athens Prize for Literature, and appeared on more than twenty Books of the Year lists. This was followed by The Tsar of Love and Techno. A Granta Best of Young American Novelists 2017, a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop,a Guggenheim Fellow and Whiting Award recipient, Marra lives in Oakland, California, and teaches at Stanford University. Visit http://anthonymarra.net/.