After over a decade in prison, a young sculptor, Yuri Dilienko, returns to his old neighborhood in Cicero, Illinois. He finds the town stripped of so many places he used to know, while the town's familiar streets, bricks and steeples trigger memories of his traumatic youth. To convalesce, he sculpts from collected scrap metal, but his arrival in town soon rouses a young girl, Lita Avila, to curiosity. Could this reclusive and oddly quiet man, whose art is sensitive yet intense, truly be guilty of setting fire to his parents' bungalow and burning them alive?
At once an homage to the urban grit of Nelson Algren and the family sagas of Leo Tolstoy, The Fugue is a true epic that spans three generations and over fifty years, a major new achievement in the history of Chicago literature. It considers the effects of war and the silent, haunting traumas inherited by children of displaced refugees. Gint Aras's lucid yet lyrical prose braids and weaves a tale where memory and imagination merge, time races and drags, and identity collapses and shifts without warning.
Gint Aras (Karolis Gintaras Zukauskas) is a Columbia University MFA. His writing has appeared in The St. Petersburg Review, Quarterly West, Antique Children, Criminal Class Review, Curbside Splendor, Siaures Atenai, Dialogo, The Good Men Project and other publications. He's also the author of two novels, Finding the Moon in Sugar (Infinity, 2009) and The Fugue (Chicago Center for Literature and Photography, December 2015.)