Pushkin's Second Wife
Translated from the Russian by Thomas Moore
Yuri Druznhikov is often described as a cross between Bulgakov and Solzhenitsyn, has been a bestseller many times over in his native Russia, has received ecstatic plaudits in France, Italy,Germany and across Eastern Europe and has even been nominated for the Nobel Prize He has not yet, however, received similar recognition in the English language.
Perhaps this volume will help. In this heartfelt collection of stories Druznhikov describes life in Russia before and after the collapse of Communism as well as the plight of Russian emigres in the USA in post - communist times. A tour guide is so in love with Pushkin that she lives with his wooden effigy, a businessman intent on enjoying his Kaif, a teacher informed that he wants to retire, a taxi driver taking his daughter along with him on his rounds . . . The characters to be found in this rambunctious volume are both recognizable and bizarre, capable of cowardly corruptions but also heroic honesties, oppressed and bewildered but also invigorated by the challenge that everyday life presents - whatever economic system they live under.
Praise for Yuri Druznhikov
'Madonna from Russia is Druznhikov's gutsy response to the challenge of his precursors . . . his writing is at times reminiscent of Solzhenitsyn but Druznhikov has a lot more humour and even offers a whiff of magical realism.' – Tibor Fischer, Guardian
'Continuing in the literary traditions of such prolific Russian authors as Mikhail Bulgakov and Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, Druznhikov's sublime work mirrors Soviet corruption in its engaging prose . . . this novel is a transcendent allegorical epic. – Big Issue
'Slender, delicate and written in a voice that manages to combine plainess and poetry, horror and humour, in a quite extraordinary way.' –Literary Review
'This stunning work of genius . . . as scathingly funny as it is unrelentingly deadly' – Review of Contemporary FictionYuri Druzhnikov's work has sold over 250,000 copies in Russia and he is considered by many European authors (including Alexandr Solzhenitsyn) to be one of the most important Russian writers of modern times. His novel Angels on the Head of a Pin was named one of the ten best Russian novels of the twentieth century at the 1999 Warsaw conference. In 2001 he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. He teaches at the University of California at Davis.
'Combines a sense of humour with a fantastic ability to write between the lines' – Isaac Bashevis Singer
'I congratulate Yuri Druznhikov on an excellent and very important book. This is the way, gradually, that at least most Soviet lies will be revealed'.– Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn