From the Academy award winning screenplay writer of Burnt by the Sun, Solar Plexus is a compelling saga of family and friendship, love and betrayal, set against the backdrop of Azerbaijan's rapidly-changing capital, Baku, as the country struggles with the transition into a post-Soviet world...
Spanning three generations and stretching from the 1940s to the 1990s, the four distinct parts that make up Solar Plexus intertwine to tell the tale of a group of friends who grew-up around the same courtyard in Baku. Each section is told from a different perspective as the friends' passions, deceits, rivalries and disappointments play out against the shifting turmoil of those decades: from the Great Patriotic War and Stalin's Purges, to the industrial institutes and Russification of the '50s and '60s, through to the struggle for independence and violence of the early '90s.
The lives of Alik, Marat, Lucky, Eldar and Seidzade are realised with rare insight and a superb eye for the bigger picture, but also with humour, and a recognition of life's absurdity that recalls writers from Bulgakov to Kundera. Ibragimbekov evokes a world of passion and honour, of proud men and hot-headed women, of great tenderness and complex humanity, where "the truth is always just one of many truths." The novel is equally a paean to the multiculturalism of Baku, and a time when a person's worth was measured by their qualities, not whether they had been born an Azeri, Russian, Jew or Armenian - a time brought to a violent end by the war with Armenia, when friends and neighbours were suddenly turned against one another, and broad-minded inclusion gave way to an exclusive and crude nationalism.
Translated from Russian by Andrew Bromfield
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