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Literati is delighted to welcome Thomas J. Kitson, translator for the novel Rapture by Iliazd
The draft dodger Laurence yearns to take control of his destiny. Having fled to the highlands, he asserts his independence by committing a string of robberies and murders. Then he happens upon Ivlita, a beautiful young woman trapped in an intricately carved mahogany house. Laurence does not hesitate to take her as well. Determined to drape his young bride in jewels, he plots ever more daring heists. Yet when Laurence finds himself casting bombs alongside members of a revolutionary cell, he must again ask: is he a free man or a pawn of history?
Rapture is a fast-paced adventure-romance and a literary treat of the highest order. The author, Iliazd, entertains, with a deceptively light hand, questions that James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and Thomas Mann once faced. How does the individual balance freedom and necessity, love and death, creativity and sterility? What is the role of violence in human history and culture? How does language both comfort and fail us in our postwar, post-Christian world?
Censored for decades in the Soviet Union, Rapture was a novel nearly lost to Russian and Western audiences. This English-language translation rescues Laurence's surreal journey from the oblivion he, too, faces as he as he tries to outrun fate.
Thomas J. Kitson is a freelance translator in New York City.