Shishkin is the most prominent Russian novelist of his generation. To compare him to Solzhenitsyn is no exaggeration... [An] important book
An elegant blend of history, biography and polemic
Often sings with powerfully estranged, original observations... minutiae and grand philosophy collide on every page.
Shishkin is interested in what is most precious and singular in classic Russian fiction: the passionate inquiry into what, in Maidenhair, is called the 'soul, quintessence, pollen.'