“What Happened to Anna K.”
by Irina Reyn
Touchstone Hardcover, 2008, 256 Pages, $24
Irina Reyn successfully re-imagines the Tolstoy classic “Anna Karenina” in her debut novel “What Happened to Anna K.” Reyn sets the scene in a tight-knit Russian-Jewish community in Queens, N.Y., where Anna K. is comfortably married to Alex. Wanting to break free from the sometimes suffocating community, Anna gets involved with her cousin’s boyfriend, an outsider, who she hopes will be her escape. On the other side of town Lev Gavrilov embarks on a similar journey, trying to find his identity by testing the boundaries of his sheltered life in his Bukharan Jewish community.
Reyn’s novel explores struggles with identity, community, gender, social rules and loyalty. “What Happened to Anna K.” will be released on Aug. 12.