Russian Lessons

written by Catherine Texier


"A novel about a tortuous, obsessive affair by veteran author Texier."  -kirkus review 

A divorced writer and mother of an eight-year old little girl gets involved with a tempestuous thirty-year old Russian illegal immigrant. What starts as a sexy and edgy romance with no strings attached, quickly turns into a darker bond of obsession and compulsion as Yuri constantly pushes the limits sexually and emotionally, driving their relationship to an intense and brutal pitch. Their stormy liaison eventually threatens the narrator’s life as her own complicated feelings and vulnerabilities violently conflict with Yuri’s desperate pursuit of love and security in the US – just as 9/11 strikes.



"Texier tells this story in a way that has for some reason become rare:  it is a truthful, deeply-felt account of two fully rendered humans in the grip of devouring sexual love.  Texier knows not to analyze or explain or blame; such things can only be understood by feeling if they can be understood at all, and one way or another, you will feel this book." 

- Mary Gaitskill, author of Bad Behavior, Veronica and The Mare


"A novel about a tortuous, obsessive affair by veteran author Texier (Victorine, 2005, etc.). A newly divorced, nameless narrator meets Russian émigré Yuri at a carnival party. She's 52 years old to his 30 and immediately attracted to him--sexually, at least...Yuri constantly pushes boundaries--sexually, legally, and morally; at best, he's controlling, and at worst, he's abusive, even potentially murderous.The narrator mysteriously endures his moodiness, rages, and drinking binges even though, on the surface, she seems to have her life together... He views her as his ticket to a green card, while she's determined to keep their relationship purely physical, limited to weekends that her daughter spends with her father. The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, increase his desperation and make her even more cautious, bringing their relationship to a breaking point. Texier's novel is well-crafted and engrossing but also troubling, like watching a train wreck... Yuri isn't merely a sexy, bad boy, but, in fact, a borderline sociopath..."

 - Kirkus Reviews


"...Quietly gripping. The tone is wonderfully sec,and the narrator retains a core of irony and lucidity even in the midst ofphysical passion or fear -- and ...an emotional intelligence thatnever fails to register equal empathy for (and equal irony toward) two peoplewho can't help using each other and can never fully understand each other, yetat least some of the time feel a tenderness for each other that only hurts themthe more." 

- Barry Schwabsky, Hyperallergic 


About the author

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Catherine Texier was born and raised in France and writes both in French and in English. She has lived in Paris, Montreal and New York. She is the author of five novels, Chloé l’Atlantique (written in French and published in Paris), Love Me Tender, Panic Blood, Victorine and Young Woman With a Bunch of Lilac, and a memoir, Breakup, which was an international bestseller. Her novel Victorine won Elle Magazine’s 2004 Readers’ Prize Best Novel of the Year. More »


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