a constellation of vital phenomena characters

a constellation of vital phenomena characters插图

What is the plot of a constellation of Vital Phenomena?

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena tells the story of the second Chechen War, which lasted from August 1999 to April 16, 2009. The novel begins when a character named Akhmed sees his neighbor, Dokka, being arrested and separated from her daughter.

Is a constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra worth reading?

Though the lives lived in this novel can seem unbearable, what Anthony Marra has done is to diligently describe them in passionate, extraordinary prose. In A Constellation of Vital Phenomena they become not only write-able, but also highly, deeply readable.

What is the Chechnya of a constellation of Vital Phenomena?

The Chechnya of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a world of haunted objects, whose very specific little stories give a sense, far more eloquently than any tranche of exposition, of its tragic place in world affairs. Sonja’s neighbour has ‘bartered a jar of engine oil for sandals that bore the blackened imprints of forty different toes’.


The small girl who is only eight when war ravaged her home. The Russians burned her home down and stole her father from her. She lives with Sonja in town.


This neighbor rescued Havaa when the Russians abducted her father and burned her house down.


A skilled doctor, so skilled she can suture a wound with dental floss, but an ethnic Russian. Her toleration in the enemy territory is the consequence of her free medical support to the war-torn village.


The sister of Sonja, and an ethnic Russian whose life is uprooted by the Chechen wars, causing her to seek an escape through prostitution.

The neighbor’s son

The novel includes a grim account of torture. The reason Havaa’s father has been abducted is that he was informed upon by the son of a neighbor, a son who was captured and tortured for intel by the Russians.

What happens when Akhmed doesn’t return to the hospital?

When Akhmed doesn’t return to the hospital the next morning, Sonja realizes he has been captured. Nevertheless, Sonja decides to continue protecting Havaa and takes Havaa back to her apartment. Havaa unpacks her suitcase to reveal the nutcracker. Sonja raises Havaa, and Havaa goes on to live a long life.

What happens after Ramzan betrays Akhmed?

After Ramzan betrays Akhmed, Akhmed knows it is only a matter of time before the Feds come for him as well. Five nights after they came for Dokka, the Feds break down Akhmed’s door and capture him. Before they can take him, Akhmed injects Ula with a lethal dose of heroin so that she may die peacefully.

What pistol did Dokka give Natasha?

Before Natasha left Dokka’s home, Dokka gave her the Makarov pistol for protection. Days later, while trying to pass through a checkpoint, a Russian colonel attempted to sexually assault Natasha. Natasha shot the colonel. Nearby soldiers heard the gunshot and shot Natasha, killing her.

What happened to Sonja and Natasha?

Sonja is haunted by the disappearance of her sister Natasha. Sonja and Natasha grew up in Volchansk, but Sonja left home as a young woman to pursue a medical fellowship in London. By the time Sonja returned, the war had begun and Natasha was gone, having been kidnapped and sold into prostitution.

Why was Ramzan captured?

Ramzan was first captured in 1995 simply for being in a nearby town the same day rebels attacked the Feds. Ramzan was brutally tortured but refused to give over the names of any fellow villagers who aided the rebels. Years later, Ramzan and Dokka were smuggling weapons for the rebels when they were captured.

Where did Dokka and Natasha stay when Natasha ran away?

When Natasha ran away for the second time, she passed through the village of Eldár, where Dokka recognized her from Havaa’s birth and insisted on giving her a place to stay. While staying with Dokka, Natasha gave Havaa a nutcracker that had been a gift to Natasha from Sonja.

Where is the constellation of vital phenomena?

The story, told from an omniscient point of view, begins one morning in 2004 in the small Chechen village of Eldár. The night before, a villager named Dokka was captured and taken by Federalist soldiers, and his house was burned to the ground. Akhmed, Dokka’s good friend who lives across the street, finds Dokka’s eight-year-old daughter Havaa hiding in the woods with a mysterious blue suitcase. Akhmed takes Havaa to a hospital in the nearby town of Volchansk, having heard rumors of a skilled surgeon named Sonja who works there. Akhmed, a village doctor, hopes that he will find work at the hospital and that Sonja will look after Havaa in exchange. Sonja is frustrated at first but reluctantly agrees to the arrangement.

How many pages are there in Khassan?

It’s true of the marvelous character Khassan, an old man who once worked diligently on a comprehensive 3,302-page volume of Chechen history. He submits the book to three different publishers, only to be told by the national publisher in Moscow that he needed to send in three typed copies.

Where does the constellation of vital phenomena take place?

Book Review: ‘A Constellation of Vital Phenomena’ By Anthony Marra| A Broken Landscape Anthony Marra’s debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, takes place in war-torn Chechnya — a world of perpetual violence, fear and exploding land mines. But reviewer Meg Wolitzer says the characters are so vivid and the language so brilliant you want to stay there.

Who is Sonja in the book?

The rest of the novel belongs mostly to Akhmed, a failed sometime doctor, but it also ­­­­belongs to Sonja, a capable, devoted doctor at the almost entirely equipment-free shell of a hospital where Akhmed takes Havaa in his quest for her safety .

Where does the story of the savages take place?

The story, which takes place in Chechnya, moving back and forth in time over recent history, includes some tough scenes, such as descriptions of torture and amputation. There’s a terrifying, Wild West lawlessness at work.

Who is Anthony Marra?

Anthony Marra is a Stegner fellow and a recipient of the Whiting Writers’ Award. Havaa, a bright and curious little girl caught in unlivable circumstances, is at the center of the story, and without the contrast of her partial innocence, the book might collapse like the remnants of that burned-down house.