SAVED BY THE BANG
(A Nuclear Comedy)
Marina Julia Neary
Historical Fiction/Dark Humor, 206 pgs
An Autobiographical novel featuring adventures of an artistic Central European family in light of a nuclear disaster
Welcome to 1980s Belarus, where Polish denim is the currency, “kike” is a pedestrian endearment, and a second-trimester abortion can be procured for a box of chocolates. Antonia Olenski, a catty half-Jewish professor at the Gomel Music Academy, wavers between her flamboyant composer husband, Joseph, and a chivalrous tenor, Nicholas. The Chernobyl disaster breaks up the love triangle, forcing Antonia into evacuation with her annoying eight-year-old daughter, Maryana. After a summer of cruising through Crimean sanatoriums and provoking wounded Afghan veterans, Antonia starts pining for the intrigues and scandals of the Academy. When the queen of cats finally returns home, she finds that new artistic, ethnic, and sexual rivalries have emerged in the afterglow of nuclear fallout. How far will Antonia go to reclaim her throne?
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A self-centered, only child of classical musicians, Marina Julia Neary spent her early years in Eastern Europe and came to the US at the age of thirteen. Her literary career revolves around depicting military and social disasters, from the Charge of the Light Brigade, to the Irish Famine, to the Easter Rising in Dublin, to the nuclear explosion in Chernobyl some thirty miles away from her home town. Notorious for her abrasive personality and politically incorrect views that make her a persona non grata in most polite circles, Neary explores human suffering through the prism of dark humor, believing that tragedy and comedy go hand in hand. Her debut thriller Wynfield's Kingdom was featured on the cover of the First Edition Magazine in the UK and earned the praise of the Neo-Victorian Studies Journal. After writing a series of novels dealing with the Anglo-Irish conflict, she takes a break from the slums of London and the gunpowder-filled streets of Dublin to delve into the picturesque radioactive swamps of her native Belarus. Saved by the Bang: a Nuclear Comedy is a deliciously offensive autobiographical satire featuring sex scandals of Eastern Europe's artistic elite in the face of political upheavals.