American Ending (Hardcover)

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American Ending By Mary Kay Zuravleff Cover Image
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(New Fiction Hardcover)

Staff Reviews

American Ending is one of the most accurate historical fiction books I have read. A beautiful story sharing the struggles of a Russian immigrant family in the early 20th century in a small coal mining town in Pennsylvania. Our narrator Yelena is a curious, strong-headed girl, who we see experience the highs and lows of growing up. A strong historical fiction that doesn’t romanticize history, but tells it as it is.  American Ending shows us the struggles of a family struggling to make ends meet while mining coal. Mary Kay Zuravleff is an amazing storyteller. Get ready for a book you can’t put down! 


— From Jousting July Staff Picks


A woman growing up in a family of Russian immigrants in the 1910s seeks a thoroughly American life.

Yelena is the first American born to her Old Believer Russian Orthodox parents, who are building a life in a Pennsylvania Appalachian town. This town, in the first decades of the 20th century, is filled with Russian transplants and a new church with a dome. Here, boys quit grade school for the coal mines and girls are married off at fourteen. The young pair up, give birth to more babies than they can feed, and make shaky starts in their new world. However, Yelena craves a different path. Will she find her happy American ending or will a dreaded Russian ending be her fate?

In this immersive novel, Zuravleff weaves Russian fairy tales and fables into a family saga within the storied American landscape. The challenges facing immigrants-and the fragility of citizenship--are just as unsettling and surprising today as they were 100 years ago. American Ending is a poignant reminder that everything that is happening in America has already happened.

About the Author

Mary Kay Zuravleff is the award-winning author of American Ending, inspired by all four of her grandparents, Russian Orthodox Old Believers who lived in the Appalachian mining town of Marianna, Pennsylvania, and made their way to Erie. Her third novel, Man Alive!, was a Washington Post Notable Book, and she is the winner of the American Academy's Rosenthal Award and a multiple recipient of the DC Artist Fellowship. Born in Syracuse, raised in Oklahoma City, and educated in Houston and Baltimore, she lives in Washington, DC.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781949467994
ISBN-10: 1949467996
Publisher: Blair
Publication Date: June 6th, 2023
Pages: 320
Language: English