Episode 74

Weird Era feat. Katya Apekina


February 9th, 2024

46 mins 28 secs

Season 1

Your Host

About this Episode

About Katya Apekin:

Katya Apekina is a novelist, screenwriter, and translator. Her debut novel, The Deeper the Water, the Uglier the Fish, was named a Best Book of 2018 by Kirkus, Buzzfeed, Lithub, and others, was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize, and has been translated into Spanish, Catalan, French, German, and Italian. She is the recipient of an Elizabeth George grant, an Olin Fellowship, the Alena Wilson prize, and a Third Year Fiction Fellowship from Washignton University in St. Louis, where she did her MFA. She has done residences at VCCA, Playa, Ucross, Art Omi: Writing, and Fondation Jan Michalski in Switzerland. Born in Moscow, she moved to the US when she was three years old and currently lives in Los Angeles. Mother Doll is her second nove

About Mother Doll:

Zhenia is adrift in Los Angeles, pregnant with a baby her husband doesn’t want, while her Russian grandmother and favorite person in the world is dying on the opposite coast. She’s deeply disconnected from herself and her desires when she gets a strange call from Paul, a psychic medium who usually specializes in channeling dead pets, with a message from the other side. Zhenia’s great-grandmother Irina, a Russian Revolutionary, has approached him from a cloud of ancestral grief, desperate to tell her story and receive absolution from Zhenia.

As Irina begins her confession with the help of a purgatorial chorus of grieving Russian ghosts, Zhenia awakens to aspects of herself she hadn’t been willing to confront. But does either woman have what the other needs to understand their predicament? Or will Irina be stuck in limbo, with Zhenia plagued by ancestral trauma, and her children after her?

Ferociously funny and deeply moving, Mother Doll forces us to look at how painful secrets stamp themselves from one generation to the next. Katya Apekina’s second novel is a family epic and a meditation on motherhood, immigration, identity, and war.