Then there was “Heavy,” the unforgettably passionate memoir of having a black male body in America by Kiese Laymon, who acknowledges in the opening chapters that he wanted to write a more personal book, one for him alone, but the world around him required a bigger, more universal exploration. I think as well of “A Terrible Country,” the best novel I read this year that wasn’t set in America. When he began the book, Keith Gessen might not have known that the story — about an American graduate student returning to his mother country of Russia to care for his grandma — would turn out to be such a touching portrait of sacrifice and love. But more important, the book also offers a sly but canny portrait of the way an unglued kleptocracy, like Russia, can suppress and encourage the good hidden in all of us.
Source: latimes.com – Los Angeles Times