The two novels included in this book are works of Russian magic realism. In the first novel, Shadowplay on a Sunless Day, Anatoly Kudryavitsky writes about life in modern-day Moscow and about an emigrant's life in Germany. The chapters of this multi-layered novel form a narrative mosaic of episodes set in both real and surreal worlds. The novel deals with problems of self-identification, national identity and the crises of the generation of "new Europeans". In the second novel, A Parade of Mirrors and Reflection, the writer turns his attention to human cloning, an issue very much at the centre of current scientific debate. In this novel, he looks at the philosophical aspects of creating artificial personalities who lack emotions and experience of everyday human life through a story about secret cloning experiments being carried out in an underground laboratory on the outskirts of Moscow.