Interview with Maxim Shrayer on Waiting for America: A story of emigration, by Maxim D. Shrayer
In 1987 a young Jewish man, the central figure in this captivating book, leaves Moscow for good with his parents. They celebrate their freedom in opulent Vienna and spend two months in Rome and the coastal resort of Ladispoli. While waiting in Europe for a US refugee visa, the book's twenty-year-old poet quenches his thirst for sexual and cultural discovery. Through his colorful Austrian and Italian misadventures, he experiences the shock, thrill, and anonymity of encountering Western democracies, running into European roadblocks while shedding Soviet taboos. As he anticipates entering a new life in America, he movingly describes the baggage that exiles bring with them, from the inescapable family traps and ties to the sweet cargo of memory.