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The Flight

The Flight

While summering on the French Riviera, the young Seryozha secretly becomes the lover of the much older Liza - who is also his father's mistress. As autumn approaches, they reluctantly part: Liza to return to Paris, Seryozha to take up his studies at university in London. When he finds out about their affair, Seryozha's father attempts to convince Liza to leave his son, for the sake of the boy's own happiness. She finally gives in - but a sudden, fatal catastrophe changes everything...

Gazdanov's second novel is proof of his wide-ranging talents: written before his celebrated noir experiments The Spectre of Alexander Wolf and The Buddha's Return, The Flight is a lyrical 'chamber play' in prose. Mixing psychological drama, illicit romance and moments of both comedy and pathos, it is a modernist take on the traditional Russian nineteenth-century realist novel epitomised by Tolstoy - with distinct echoes of Thornton Wilder's The Bridge of San Luis Rey.