Russia's answer to Deborah Moggach’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Before I Croak is a comic novel from one of Russia’s most outstanding young novelists. Five middle-class women in their sixties arrive at a care home in suburban Moscow, keen to experience their ‘second youth’. One of them even has the heady dreams of writing the Great Russian Novel of her generation, only to discover more than she bargained for.
What follows combines elements of fantasy – the story is set in 2039 – with the everyday truths of life: intrigues and jealousy, plans made and frustrated, and a thirst for life and love. The women gradually discover mutual friends and connections and solve longstanding riddles, in exchanges that burst with humour, mirth and wit.
Translated by Muireann Maguire.
Anna Babiashkina was born in 1979 in a small town in Central Russia. She has a degree in Journalism from Moscow University, and now works as chief editor of a women’s magazine with a circulation of 180,000. In 2011 Before I Croak won the Debut Prize and the Bestseller Prize for Best Urban Novel.
Muireann Maguire is a Fellow in Russian Literature and Culture at Wadham College, Oxford.
Also available as an eBook here.