Elegy for a Fabulous World by Alta Ifland
The surreal and darkly humorous stories of Elegy for a Fabulous World describe an eccentric family and their polyglot friends and neighbors--Ukrainians, Hungarians, Germans, Romanians, Gypsies, Jews, Russians--surviving together in a land where fable, reality, and State-issued lies are impossible to untangle. In the book's second section, the narratives emigrate to the United States, where the skepticism learned in fabulous youth infects and frustrates American attitudes and institutions. Real fictions of strange lands, Ifland's stories demonstrate a deep sympathy with the visionary outsider and a vital and provocative international point of view. Alta Ifland grew up in Eastern Europe and emigrated to the United States in 1991. Elegy for a Fabulous World was selected, from an extremely competitive field, as a finalist for the 2010 Northern California Book Awards.