[CLOSED] Enter to Win a Copy of A History of the Island

Twenty lucky people will win!

a history of the island giveaway

Fans of Umberto Eco, Julian Barnes, and Kazuo Ishiguro, rejoice—we're giving away 20 copies of Eugene Vodolazkin's acclaimed novel, A History of the Island. This book is best appreciated by readers who enjoy finding humor in the absurd—and who crave more than a dry, scientific rationale of what motivates, divides, and unites people.

What's more, five grand prize winners will also receive Brisbane, Vodolazkin's award-winning novel that Booklist described as "a sophisticated and frequently moving study in dissonance, dedicated to pointing out contrasts between art and life, beauty and decay, intention and outcome. And, yes, between Ukraine and Russia.”

Read more about each book below, and enter by April 27 for your chance to win. And don't forget to double your chances by signing up for The Reader newsletter, too!

Note: This giveaway is now closed.

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About the Prize

a history of the island by eugene vodolazkin

A History of the Island

By Eugene Vodolazkin

This ingenious novel, described by critics as a coda to his bestselling Laurus, is presented as a chronicle of an island from medieval to modern times. The island is not on the map, but it is real beyond doubt. It cannot be found in history books, yet the events are painfully recognizable. The monastic chroniclers dutifully narrate events they witness: quests for power, betrayals, civil wars, pandemics, droughts, invasions, innovations, and revolutions. The entries mostly seem objective, but at least one monk simultaneously drafts and hides a “true” history, to be discovered centuries later. And why has someone snipped out a key prophesy about the island’s fate?

These chronicles receive commentary today from an elderly couple who are the island’s former rulers. Prince Parfeny and Princess Ksenia are truly extraordinary: they are now 347 years old. Eyewitnesses to much of their island’s turbulent history, they offer sharp-eyed observations on the changing flow of time and their people’s persistent delusions. Why is the royal couple still alive? Would the missing prophesy shed any light?

a history of the island by eugene vodolazkin
brisbane, by eugene vadolazkin


By Eugene Vodolazkin

Vodolazkin’s new novel Brisbane is “a sophisticated and frequently moving study in dissonance, dedicated to pointing out contrasts between art and life, beauty and decay, intention and outcome. And, yes, between Ukraine and Russia” (Booklist).

Brisbane is a richly layered, universal coming-of-age story of a musical prodigy robbed of his talent by an incurable disease who attempts to overcome his mortality. After Gleb Yanovsky, a celebrated guitarist, is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at age fifty, he permits a writer, Sergei Nesterov, to pen his biography. For years, they meet regularly as Gleb recounts the life he’s lived thus far: a difficult childhood in Kyiv, his formative musical studies in St. Petersburg, and his later years in Munich, where he lives with his wife and meets a thirteen-year-old virtuoso whom he embraces as his own daughter. In a mischievous and tender account, Gleb recalls a personal story of a lifetime quest for meaning, and how the burden of success changes with age.

Expanding the literary universe spun in his earlier novels, Vodolazkin explores music and fame, heritage and belonging, time and memory in this beautifully-wrought and relevant tale that carefully unravel into a puzzle: Whose story is it – the subject's or the writer's? Are art and love really no match for death? Is memory a reliable narrator? In Brisbane, the city of our dreams, as in music, Gleb hopes he’s found a path to eternity – and a way to stop the clock.

brisbane, by eugene vadolazkin

For full details, see official rules

Note: The sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington, DC who are 18 years of age and older by April 13, 2023.