Bright, funny, satirical and relevant . . .
A new talent to watch!' MARGARET ATWOOD, from Twitter'Creative, poignant and darkly hilarious . . .
an outstanding first book' ANTHONY DOERR, author of All the Light We Cannot See'Luminous' YANN MARTEL, author of Life of Pi'The funniest, most politically astute book I've read in years' MIRIAM TOEWS, author of Women TalkingA bureaucratic glitch omits an entire building, along with its residents, from municipal records. So begins Maria Reva's collection of ingeniously intertwined stories that span the chaotic years leading up to and immediately following the fall of the Soviet Union. As the benighted denizens of 1933 Ivansk Street weather the official neglect of the authorities, they devise cunning ways to survive.
An agoraphobic recluse makes money by mapping the vinyl grooves of illegal Western records onto stolen X-ray film; a delusional secret service agent becomes convinced he's being covertly recruited to guard Lenin's tomb, just as his parents supposedly were; and weaving the narratives together is chameleon-like Zaya, a cleft-lipped orphan who reappears as a Miss USSR beauty-contest crasher and later as a sadist for hire to the Eastern Bloc's newly minted oligarchs. Good Citizens Need Not Fear moves from moments of intense paranoia to surprising tenderness, exploring what it is to be an individual amid the rolling forces of history.