Two Big Differences demonstrates an intimate and authoritative understanding of contemporary post-Soviet life, especially as it’s experienced by people from Odessa—in Odessa but also as immigrants to the US. Singleton writes convincingly and authoritatively from multiple perspectives in the book, including that of a young woman from Odessa. The quality of Singleton’s prose also bears the rhythms and influences of some of the Soviet masters—Kataev, Olesha and, I’d venture, Dovlatov. However, it doesn’t read as mimicry but as the authentic representation of the way his contemporary characters think, feel and speak.”

David Bezmozgis, author of Immigrant City

“Singleton teaches us that to learn a language is to be remade by that language. To move to a different city means to internalize the traumas inscribed in the map. This novel is the product of a deep engagement with the Russian language and a love song to the cities of Detroit, USA and Odessa, Ukraine in all of their different, rich complexities. Necessary reading for anyone considering a move to a different country!”

Olga Zilberbourg, author of Like Water and Other Stories

“It is late in Two Big Differences when Ian Ross Singleton’s unforgettable character Zina ‘needed to let these stories take over,’ but it is clear from the beginning that Singleton himself needed to let these stories take over his novel. Where Odessa meets Detroit and American meets Ukrainian and English meets Russian, everything proves hilariously serious and fantastically true. There are two big differences between this and the next-liveliest novel you will read this year.”

H. L. Hix, author of The Gospel According to H. L. Hix

Two Big Differences is brightly original, structurally inventive, thoughtful and wise, suffused with love for the infinitely lovely and poignantly heartbreaking, faraway city of Odessa; full of energy and effortless narrative fluidity, replete with lightning-quick transitions between the scenes, shot through with bright flashes of humor and sharp wit. The sheer rhythms of this terrific novel are mesmerizing. Ian Ross Singleton is one of the finest young writers at work in America today.”

Mikhail Iossel, author of Love Like Water, Love Like Fire

“A passionately told story of migrations, of romance, and of intergenerational traumas, Two Big Differences, Ian Ross Singleton’s debut, is a rich linguistic treat on every page. The novel is also an operatic love letter to Odessa, Ukraine, as tragic as it is beautiful. By the end of this novel, you will have crossed oceans of feeling like Singleton’s characters have.”

Leland Cheuk, author of No Good Very Bad Asian

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