Episode 1: Anthony Marra

In this episode, your hosts, Abbe and Alana, offer a refresher course to prepare you for your discussions, recapping who’s who in this tangled web of characters. Then, author Anthony Marra answers some pressing questions and reads a *very* romantic scene from the book. Happy reading and cheers!


Discussion Questions

  • The stories in this collection travel from Leningrad to Siberia and then to Chechnya, from toxic lakes to bucolic hillsides. Was any setting particularly vivid to you?  
  • How would you describe the feeling of reading these linked stories? When you finished, did it feel like you’d read a novel—or a collection with separate stories that stand-alone?
  • A government censor forced to question everything,  two brothers lost to each other, a B-list movie star, and an intrepid ballerina—of all the characters in The Tsar of Love and Techno, who did you relate to most? Whose story moved you, and why?
  • The action of this collection, and even its cover, centers around the mixtape that Alexei makes for his brother, Kolya. If you had to make a mix for a loved one you might never see again, what would be on it?

Book Club Bites

Whether you’re gathering with a group, or reading solo, try our recommendations for a cocktail and snack that pair perfectly with the book.


Book Club Extras

Spotify Playlist


Recommended Books

ANTHONY MARRA is the author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (2013), which won the National Book Critics Circle’s inaugural John Leonard Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in fiction, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and appeared on over twenty year-end lists. Marra’s novel was a National Book Award long list selection as well as a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and France’s Prix Medicis. He received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where he teaches as the Jones Lecturer in Fiction. He has lived and studied in Eastern Europe, and now resides in Oakland, California. His story collection, The Tsar of Love and Techno, was published from Hogarth in October of 2015. Visit http://anthonymarra.net
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