To get to Hell,’ he says in a low voice, ‘they take you through America. There is a door behind a door.’
My partner and I read the dreamiest, most evocative experimental novel recently, A Door Behind A Door. Yelena Moskovich has created perhaps the ideal read for this bizarre moment in time: a loose-yet-considered dreamscape that pulls together the 1991 Soviet diaspora, Jewishness and identity, queer desires, a murder mystery, romantic and familial love, and micro- and macro-level power dynamics, with a sprinkling of incarceration politics thrown in for good measure. It is neither fish nor fowl nor good red herring – Moskovitch has delivered us a compact, fragmented fever dream that is just as much a novel as it is extended poem and expansive allegorical metaphor. Gradually you will feel increasingly unmoored from reality while simultaneously honing in on every word and sentence, so deftly does she utilize nuance and precision of language. A Door Behind a Door is utterly unlike anything I have ever read. Haunting, sexy, violent, and thought-provoking, pick up this novel and buckle up for the post (post?) pandemic read you didn’t know you needed.
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