From The New York Times:
Driving by a certain decrepit five-story apartment building in the Russian city of Perm in the late 1990s, you would never have imagined you were passing a locus of magic and transcendence. There had been no heat or working toilets in the building for months, and no running water; most of the tenants had stopped receiving their salaries and pensions. Feral, abandoned children hovered in packs around uncollected refuse heaped outside the building.
But Gina Ochsner, traveling there at least imaginatively, has paused at the address, peered into the courtyard and come away from it with a novel of startling, redemptive beauty.