BÃ©atrice, a solitary young jazz singer from a genteel Parisian suburb, meets a mysterious woman named Polina, who visits her at night and whispers in her ear: "There are people who leave their bodies and their bodies go on living without them. These people are named Natasha."
CÃ©sar, a lonely Mexican actor, receives the opportunity of a lifetime: a role as a serial killer on a French TV series. But as he prepares for the audition, he finds himself falling in love with the psychopath he is to play. Step by step, BÃ©atrice and CÃ©sar are drawn into a labyrinth of visions and warnings, haunted by a group of young women who all share the same name: Natasha.
A startlingly original novel that recalls the unsettling visual worlds of Cindy Sherman and David Lynch and the writing of Angela Carter and Haruki Murakami,The Natashas establishes Yelena Moskovich as one of the most exciting young writers of her generation.
“Strange and carnal; a riddle of language, the body, and the artistic impulse.”
“Dreamy and impressionistic, Moskovich’s novel deftly illustrates the many ways women are commodified and objectified by society in both macro and micro ways.”
“The text stacks its scenes like building blocks, creating a mosaic of surrealist serendipity in which everything you think you know dissolves, again and again ...The Natashas presents a Murakami-esque pictogram of incomplete data that will mesmerize the reader long after the last page has been turned.”
-The Arkansas International
“The Natashas is beautiful, original and distinctive – a stunning new voice.”
-Jenni Fagan, author ofThe Panopticon
“Closest in tone and plot to a David Lynch film…confounding and beguiling in equal measure; prose that reads as heady yet ephemeral as smoke.”
-Lucy Scholes,The Independent
“Brave, original…written in a Cubist jumble of voices, languages, and textures,The Natashas reads as if one were spinning a radio dial of the world…Moskovich’s prose radiates with heat as she describes the life animating the city from within, a breath that unites us in our humanity, even the most marginalised – those whose identities are subsumed into the categories of their catastrophes: hostages, refugees, slaves. InThe Natashas, Moskovich locates that delicate point of equilibrium between aesthetics and outrage.”
“Wonderfully original…if you are a fan of David Lynch or Haruki Murakami, this sort of joyful acceptance of the bizarre will come easily…Moskovich’s debut offers something different, and sometimes we all need that.”
“A haunting, unknowable novel and no less beguiling for that.”
“A hallucinatory torrent of imagery and ideas that moves entirely according to its own rules…Moskovich explores the relationship between our identities and our physical selves in an experimental, fragmented narrative, obstinately refusing to reach an orthodox resolution but nevertheless casting a beguiling spell that beckons deeper into its strangeness.”
-The Herald Scotland
“As mysterious as a David Lynch film,The Natashas paints a dark, post-modern picture of loss of identity, invisibility and disconnection.”
-The Times Literary Supplement
“An off-kilter debut about people calledThe Natashas who live on without their bodies. But will Beatrice, a jazz singer, and Cesar, a Mexican actor, be sucked into the mystery?”
“A dark literary novel…an intense Lynchian atmosphere.”
“Conceptually challenging and aesthetically inventive…Moskovich’s narrative voice has the quality of floating slightly above its characters, evoking the disconnect, not only between mind and body, but between individuals, between action and intent, thought and speech. The story is structured like an Escher staircase, space and time converging in ways that don’t quite make sense.”
-Dundee University Review of the Arts
“Explorations of sexual power, force and identity underpin this beautifully written dreamscape debut by Yelena Moskovitch…a novel that slips and slides through space and time, unmoored by linear convention.”