NEW RUSSIAN WRITING
i
n English translation • from Glas, Moscow

Winners of the Debut Young Writers Prize

Alexander Snegirev was born in 1980 in Moscow.

He studied architecture before transferring to political science. He currently works in construction design.


Alexander Snegirev

Petroleum Venus
- A novel
Translated by Arch Tait

Glas, Moscow, 2013
ISBN 978-5-7172-0096-7
Paperback, £8.99; $15.00

250 pages

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Petroleum Venus won the Debut Prize
• Shortlisted for the National Bestseller Prize
• Nominated for the Russian Booker
• On the ozon.ru bestseller list for a year

“Rarely sentimental and never treacly. Snegirev is not afraid to depict the frustrations and irritations of raising a disabled child.”
Publishers Weekly 

Petroleum Venus is a surprisingly funny and touching story, and this tale works so well thanks mainly to the character of Vanya whose innocence and stubbornness help create his strong moral compass in a corrupt society where everything seems to be for sale. To Vanya, life is black and white; there are no ambiguities, no grey spaces for moral quibbling, and while everyone else seems to have discovered morally questionable ways to get ahead, Vanya is a refreshing alternative.
Guy Savage, wordpress.com

A tragi-comic story of a successful young architect, Fyodor, the reluctant single father of an adolescent son, Vanya, born with Down’s syndrome. But when Vanya, who is reminiscent of the “rain man”, pulls a mystical painting from the wreckage of a fatal car crash, everything changes. This is the first of a series of extraordinary events that lead both father and son on a journey towards love, responsibility and acceptance.


Dmitry Vachedin was born in Leningrad in 1982.

He graduated from the University of Mainz with a degree in Political Science and Slavic Studies. At the age of 25 he won the Debut Prize for his short stories.

In 2010 his novel Snow Germans was nominated for the Russian Prize, and in 2012 he won the Russian Prize for his short stories.

Vachedin’s prose style and his ability to understand and convey diverse experiences make Snow Germans a pleasure to read and Dmitry Vachedin an author to follow. (Bradley Gorski, World Literature Today)

Snow Germans is a noteworthy historical tale worthy of study, reflection and analysis. (Viviane Crystal, Historical Novel Society)


Dmitry Vachedin

Snow Germans
Translated by Arch Tait

Glas, Moscow, 16 April 2013
Paperback, £8.99, $15.00
ISBN-10: 5717200978
ISBN-13: 978-5717200974

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Dmitry Vachedin’s novel is peopled with Volga Germans who, invited to emigrate to Russia in the reign of Catherine the Great, prospered as conscientious farmers, and then in the twentieth-century found themselves caught up in a war between Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany.

Seen by Russia as potential collaborators with the Nazis, they were subjected to one of Stalin’s bungled deportations of an entire population (to Kazakhstan and Siberia). They were able finally to return to Germany under the Law of Return in the late 1980s and 1990s.


Vachedin is himself a Volga German, now settled in Germany and working in Bonn for Deutsche Welle. His characters are uniquely placed to compare the strengths and weaknesses of the Russian and German temperaments, and do not come down unambiguously in favour of orderly Europe. The novel is a delight to read. A highly topical exploration of the relationships between young people trapped between Europe’s poles of Germany and Russia.


From Snow Germans:


“Come down from that window! Get down, do you hear me?”

Shan’t! Why spoil the fun for the passers-by? I’ve just invented a new domestic service, nude window cleaning. It’s only the cut-price help from Eastern Europe trying to make ends meet. No, don’t come any closer or I might forget how high it is up here. Or perhaps not even height is for real in Germany. Perhaps it’s just so much play-acting and the houses are lying horizontally like on a trick film set. You never look up, so how would you know? Perhaps this window is just as artificial as those fenced-off summits of your sad hills with that sad, spotless bench which is always conveniently nearby.

 In the city where I was born there isn’t a high-rise someone hasn’t jumped off. The City of Flying Russians, we call it. People there know all about real height, and how alluring it is. Do you? Like hell you do. Even I was beginning to forget.


“Valeriya, are you insane? Put your clothes on at once! Let’s talk this through.”


Arslan Khasavov was born in 1988, a Chechen  by nationality, graduated from the Asia and Africa Institute in Moscow in 2010, then spent a year at Damascus University. He also took a degree at the Literary Institute. In 2009 his novel Sense won the Debut Prize.


Arslan works for the BBC Russian Service as a commentator on the Northern Caucasus, and currently lives in Moscow to avoid persecution in Chechnya for his critical articles on the political regime there.


Arslan Khasavov

SENSE: a Novel

Glas New Russian Writing
Moscow, June 2012
(Vol. 54 in the Glas New Russian Writing Series)

Paperback, £8.99; $15.00
ISBN 978-5-7172-0093-6
250 pages

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“This Chechen boy has created a portrait of dissident youth in the best traditions of Tolstoy and Turgenev.”
Eduard Limonov, author.

Stumbling on a book like SENSE is like rummaging around at Vincent Boot and Shoe and finding a pair of Robert Clergerie alligator loafers for 12.99. Or actually, more like finding some funky, kick-ass Derek Lam booties.

A little novel by a very young but award-winning Chechen author, SENSE is about the alienation of Artur, who intends to become a great revolutionary activist, thinker, and writer.

Set in today's Moscow, it's a wonderfully colourful guide to the current political atmosphere there, as well as its glittery/ gritty world of nightclubbing Russotrash, rappers, gangsters, and intellectual poseurs who are in huge contrast to the Russian heroes of history. Or are they?

Artur tries to find his place, and his efforts are really funny. Wry, whip-smart, and perceptive, Khasavov's work brings to mind Dostoevsky, Kafka, and the great classic samizdat novel, Moscow-Petushki by Benedikt Yerofeev. This dude is to watch. Added bonus: translation is by
Arch Tait, who translates many of the best contemporary Russian writers.
LH, Square Books, Oxford, Mississippi.

“Arch Tait’s highly competent translation.” (Andrei Rogatchevski, Fiction in Brief)


GLAS - NEW RUSSIAN WRITING

Present-day Russian writing
in English translation.

Off the Beaten Track
Stories by Russian Hitchhikers
Irina Bogatyreva's novella Off the Beaten Track
(translated by Arch Tait)

Igor Savelyev's Pale City
(Translated by Amanda Love Darragh)

and

Tatiana Mazepina's Journey Towards Paradise
(translated by Ainsley Morse).

304 pages. ISBN 978-5-7172-0092-9

For full information about the Glas New Russian Writing translation series, please click HERE

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