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Love Like Water, Love Like Fire

Love Like Water, Love Like Fire

Comedy and tragedy collide in stories of family life in Soviet Russia and the complexities of the immigrant experience

“We can’t stop turning the pages of this book.” —Ilya Kaminsky, New York Times Book Review

From the moment of its founding, the USSR was reviled and admired, demonized and idealized. Many Jews saw the new society ushered in by the Russian Revolution as their salvation from shtetl life with its deprivations and deadly pogroms. But Soviet Russia was rife with antisemitism, and a Jewish boy growing up in Leningrad learned early, harsh, and enduring lessons.

Unsparing and poignant, Mikhail Iossel’s twenty stories of Soviet childhood and adulthood, dissidence and subsequent immigration, are filled with wit and humor even as they describe the daily absurdities of a fickle and often perilous reality.