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In a crumbling apartment building in post-Soviet Russia, there’s a ghost who won’t keep quiet.
Mircha fell from the roof and was never properly buried, so he sticks around to heckle the living: his wife, Azade; Olga, a disillusioned translator/censor for a military newspaper; Yuri, an army veteran who always wears an aviator’s helmet; and Tanya, a student of hope, words, and color.
Tanya carries a notebook wherever she goes, recording her dreams of finding love and escaping her job at the All-Russia All-Cosmopolitan Museum, a place that holds a fantastic and terrible collection of art knockoffs created with the materials at hand, from foam to chewing gum, Popsicle sticks to tomato juice. When the museum’s director hears of an American group seeking to fund art in Russia, it looks as if Tanya might get her chance at a better life, if she can only convince them of the collection’s worth. Enlisting the help of her neighbors, Tanya scrambles to save her dreams, and along the way discovers that love may have been waiting in her own courtyard all along.