The book has been rendered into Persian by Yalda Bidokhtinejad.
The story of the book happens in August 1991 in a sweltering New York City apartment, where a group of Russian émigrés gathers round the deathbed of an artist named Alik, a charismatic character beloved by them all, especially the women who take turns nursing him as he fades from this world.
Their reminiscences of the dying man and of their lives in Russia are punctuated by debates and squabbles: Whom did Alik love most? Should he be baptized before he dies, as his alcoholic wife, Nina, desperately wishes, or be reconciled to the faith of his birth by a rabbi who happens to be on hand? And what will be the meaning for them of the Yeltsin putsch, which is happening across the world in their long-lost Moscow but also right before their eyes on CNN?
This marvelous group of individuals inhabits the first novel by Ulitskaya to be published in English, a book that was shortlisted for the Russian Booker Prize and has been praised wherever translated editions have appeared.
Simultaneously funny and sad, lyrical in its Russian sorrow and devastatingly keen in its observation of character, “The Funeral Party” introduces a wonderful writer who captures, wryly and tenderly, the readers’ complex thoughts and emotions confronting life and death, love and loss, homeland and exile.
Ulitskaya is a critically acclaimed modern Russian novelist and short-story writer. She was born in the town of Davlekanovo in Bashkiria in 1943. She grew up in Moscow where she studied biology at Moscow State University.
Having worked in the field of genetics and biochemistry, Ulitskaya began her literary career by joining the drama theater as a literary consultant. She was the author of two movie scripts produced in the early 1990s, “The Liberty Sisters” (1990) and “A Woman for All” (1991).
Ulitskaya’s first novel “Sonechka” published in Novy Mir in 1992 almost immediately became extremely popular, and was shortlisted for the Russian Booker Award. Nowadays her works are much admired by the reading public and critics in Russia and many other countries.
Her works have been translated into several languages and received several international and Russian literary awards, including the Russian Booker for Kukotsky's Case (2001).
The author currently resides in Moscow. Ulitskaya’s works have been translated into many foreign languages.