“Ivan & Misha is the great American Russian Novel told as Chekhov would tell it, in stories of delicacy, humanity and insight. From Kiev to Manhattan, Brighton Beach and Bellevue, Michael Alenyikov lays out a series of compelling arguments for brotherhood between brothers, between lovers, between men from an old country.  Alenyikov confronts big subjects –illness and madness, sex and love in the age of AIDS, old and new world values, a fallen wall, the metaphysics of survival, the march of generations.”
Carolyn Cooke, author of The Bostons and Daughters of the Revolution

“For the Russian immigrant twins who are the main characters of Ivan and Misha, everyday existence consists of heartbreak, love, and the unexpected. With exuberance and dark humor, Michael Alenyikov depicts New York lives.  These wonderful connected stories are full of warmth, psychological insight, and winning originality.”
Alice Mattison, author of Nothing Is Quite Forgotten In Brooklyn

“A haunting collection of love and duty.”
Marie Myung-Ok Lee, author of Somebody’s Daughter


Michael Alenyikov received the 2013 Gina Berriault Award from San Francisco State University


Ivan & Misha won the Northern California Book Award for Fiction!!!

Its publisher labels this stunning debut a collection of stories, but it could just as easily have been called a novel. All the stories focus on or circle around the eponymous fraternal twins and their father, Lyov, who emigrate from Kiev to New York City in the 1980s. Eleven at the time of the move, Ivan and Misha have become men very different from one another when the book ends in 2001. Father, sons, lover, friends, neighbors, co-workers are captured from different point of view and at different, nonsequential times during these years, so that we come to see their lives from multiple and constantly changing angles, a sort of literary cubism. Together the stories have the thrilling surprises, the emotional depth, and the cumulative power of a longer work of fiction. Ivan and Misha is witty and lyrical, but it is also very tough. As he chronicles the terrors as well as the joys of family life and of homosexual love, the  irretrievable lies of the past and the unfulfilled longs of the present, the sorrows of exile and the brutalities of the  new world, the author never flinches or sentimentalizes. From page 24: “The troika: Tolstoy, Chekhov, Gogol. Endlessly read.” In bringing the expansive vision of Tolstoy, the often scabrous  humor of Gogol, and the tenderness of Chekhov to the mean streets of New York and the United States in the Age of AIDS, Michael Alenyikov has created a new American classic — Steven Simmons

Ivan & Misha was a Finalist for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction