An NPR Best Book of the Year: “[A] brilliant novel of love, betrayal and censorship . . . Deeply suspenseful” (Margot Livesey, New York Times–bestselling author of Mercury).
It is 1933 in Russia and Mikhail Bulgakov’s enviable literary career is on the brink of being dismantled. His friend and mentor, the poet Osip Mandelstam, has been arrested, tortured, and sent into exile. Meanwhile, a mysterious agent of Stalin’s secret police has developed a growing obsession with exposing Bulgakov as an enemy of the state. To make matters worse, Bulgakov has fallen in love with the dangerously outspoken Margarita. Facing imminent arrest, infatuated with Margarita, he is inspired to write his masterpiece, The Master and Margarita, a satirical novel that is scathingly critical of power and the powerful.
Ranging from lively readings in the homes of Moscow’s elite to a Siberian gulag, Mikhail and Margarita recounts a passionate love triangle while painting a portrait of a country with a towering literary tradition confronting a dictatorship that does not tolerate dissent. Margarita is a strong, idealistic woman fiercely loved by two very different men, both of whom will struggle in their attempts to shield her from the machinations of a regime hungry for human sacrifice in a time of systematic deception.
Mikhail and Margarita, winner of the Center for Fiction’s 2017 First Novel Prize, is “an atmospheric, gripping, authoritative and deeply suspenseful narrative that utterly transports the reader” (Margot Livesey).
“A book about authoritarian crackdown on speech and satire that is sadly timely.” —Flavorwire