A School for Fools by Sasha Sokolov
(New York Review Books Classics)

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews


By turns lyrical and philosophical, witty and baffling,  confounds all expectations of the novel. Here we find not one reliable narrator but two “unreliable” narrators: the young man who is a student at the “school for fools” and his double. What begins as a reverie (with frequent interruptions) comes to seem a sort of fairy-tale quest not for gold or marriage but for self-knowledge. The currents of consciousness running through the novel are passionate and profound. Memories of childhood summers at the dacha are contemporaneous with the present, the dead are alive, and the beloved is present in the wind. Here is a tale either of madness or of the life of the imagination in conversation with reason, straining at the limits of language; in the words of Vladimir Nabokov, “an enchanting, tragic, and touching book.”

About Sasha Sokolov

See more books from this Author
Sasha Sokolov was born in Canada in 1943. His father, a high-ranking Soviet diplomat, was deported from Canada as a spy in 1946, and Sokolov grew up in the Soviet Union, where he studied journalism at Moscow State University. He made repeated attempts to escape from the USSR, for which he was briefly imprisoned, but after international protests, he was finally permitted to leave the country in 1975. That same year the manuscript of A School for Fools, his first novel, was smuggled out of the Soviet Union and published in the West to great acclaim. The recipient of the prestigious Andrei Bely Prize in 1981 and of the Pushkin Prize for literature in 1996, Sokolov is the author of the novels Astrophobia and Between Dog and Wolf and of a book of essays, In the House of the Hanged.Alexander Boguslawski is a professor of Russian studies at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.
Author Residence: Canada; Translator: Winter Park, FL
Author Hometown: Moscow, Russia
Published November 17, 2015 by NYRB Classics. 208 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction