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[An] impressive first novel.” The New York Times
Austin Voronkov is many things. He is an engineer, an inventor, and, in 1913, an immigrant from Russia to Bridgeport, Connecticut. When Austin is wrongly accused of attending anarchist gatherings, he is forced to flee with his new bride, Julia, to Russia, and then to Mexico. While Julia and their children are able to return to the United States, Austin becomes indefinitely stranded in Mexico City. He keeps a daily correspondence with Julia, and they each exchange their hopes and fears for the future as they struggle to remain a family across a distance of two countries. Austin and Julia’s struggles build to a crisis and a heartrending resolution in this dazzling, sweeping debut. The Invention of Exile is a deeply moving testament to the enduring power of family and the meaning of home.
VANESSA MANKO earned her MFA in creative writing from Hunter College. She has taught writing at New York University and the State University of New York at Purchase. Originally from Brookfield, Connecticut, Manko now lives in Brooklyn.