Sean Michaels visited Magadan during the research for his first novel, Us Conductors, which was published this spring. His previous contribution to Brick, “The Lizard, the Catacombs, and the Clock” (Brick 85), was anthologized in The New Brick Reader. He lives in Montreal, where he writes about music for the Guardian, McSweeney’s, and at the blog Said the Gramophone.
While Andrei is securing the box full of guns, Natasha and I get in the car. It’s a black SUV four-by-four, streaked with scratches, raised on huge, flinty tires. She takes the passenger seat, I clamber in the back; I’m . . .