Spotlight: They Lived They Were at Brighton Beach, by Iván Brave

They Lived They Were at Brighton Beach

by Iván Brave
Out June 16th 2020
325 pages

Genre: Adult Fiction


Loyal fans know him as a rising internet star and the resident DJ at one of Brooklyn’s sauciest nightclubs. But one blistering summer day, after relapsing, getting dumped, and winding up at the hospital, Ilya Gagarin awakes in a nightmare. The only way out, he figures, is to finally debut his EP, meaning, to realize a deeper dream.

The process of producing, together with the power of music and an urge to accept his past, is passionately described in his journal—while the larger story follows the weeks leading to his EP launch, his struggle to quit drugs, and his falling in love again to a guardian angel. It is she who teaches him, “Do you know how Russians say Once Upon a Time? Жили были. It translates to They Lived They Were.” Suggesting Ilya might just get his fairy tale ending. Or at least move on.


Iván Brave lives in Bucharest, Romania, where he writes poetry, reviews and novels, as well as promotes language learning in multinational corporations.

He graduated from The New School, with an MFA in Creative Writing, after earning a Bachelor in Philosophy from The University of Texas at Austin.

Today, Language and Multiculturalism are the themes dearest to his heart.

In addition to winning prizes, such as the Writing Award from The Vera List Center for Arts and Politics, his writings have appeared in literary publications like The American Scholar and The Acentos Review.

In 2018, Iván published his debut novel, The Summer Abroad, also available now on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle.


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