Holderness

Everything Flows, by Vasily Grossman

From a review on Amazon.com:

"Everything Flows is Vasily Grossmanís final testament, written after the Soviet authorities suppressed his masterpiece, Life and Fate. The main story is simple: released after thirty years in the Soviet camps, Ivan Grigoryevich must struggle to find a place for himself in an unfamiliar world.

But in a novel that seeks to take in the whole tragedy of Soviet history, Ivanís story is only one among many. Thus we also hear about Ivanís cousin, Nikolay, a scientist who never let his conscience interfere with his career, and Pinegin, the informer who got Ivan sent to the camps. Then a brilliant short play interrupts the narrative: a series of informers steps forward, each making excuses for the inexcusable things that he didóinexcusable and yet, the informers plead, in Stalinist Russia understandable, almost unavoidable.

And at the core of the book, we find the story of Anna Sergeyevna, Ivanís lover, who tells about her eager involvement as an activist in the Terror famine of 1932Ė33, which led to the deaths of three to five million Ukrainian peasants. Here Everything Flows attains an unbearable lucidity comparable to the last cantos of Danteís Inferno."

I think the title comes from The Brothers Karamazov, where Ivan says to Alyosha:

"With my pitiful, earthly, Euclidian understanding, all I know is that there is suffering and that there are none guilty; that cause follows effect, simply and directly; that everything flows and finds its levelóbut thatís only Euclidian nonsense, I know that, and I canít consent to live by it! What comfort is it to me that there are none guilty and that cause follows effect simply and directly, and that I know it?"