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Book review: “Perestroika in Paris” is just the literary tonic we need, especially this year

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“Perestroika in Paris”

“Perestroika in Paris” by Jane Smiley, Knopf, 2020, 265 pages, $26.95

The newest book from Jane Smiley, “Perestroika in Paris” is an endlessly surprising and magical fable. 

And just what makes this book from the author of, most recently, the “Last Hundred Years” Trilogy so surprising? Well, Perestroika — the main character who much prefers her nickname “Paras” — is a horse. In fact, she’s a young frontrunner, who leaves her paddock after a race one evening only to find herself eventually wandering the alleys and streets and parks near the Eiffel Tower.