A dazzling debut, and a publishing phenomenon: the tender, savagely funny collection from a young immigrant who has taken the critics by storm.
Few readers had heard of David Bezmozgis before May 2003, when Harper's, Zoetrope, and The New Yorker all printed stories from his forthcoming collection. In the space of a few weeks, America thus met the BermansBella and Roman and their son, MarkRussian Jews who have fled the Riga of Brezhnev for Toronto, the city of their dreams.
Told through Mark's eyes, the stories in Natasha possess a serious wit and uniquely Jewish perspective that recall the first published stories of Bernard Malamud and Philip Roth, not to mention the recent work of Jhumpa Lahiri, Nathan Englander, and Adam Haslett.
[Bezmozgis] has an understated, just-telling-it-like-it-happened style that, if not impressive, is remarkably self-assured; it is attuned to the stories he is telling, and its understatement is a function of the narrator's doubt.