In this striking novel from a bold new Russian talent, a group of gangsters seizing control of a little town with the collusion of the corrupt local authorities, businessmen and police becomes a miniature portrayal of Russia as a whole. Defending his daughter, the protagonist Savely accidentally shoots the chief gangster and walks away in full view of a crowd.
Policemen are afraid to arrest him but are eager to deliver him into the gangsters’ hands; his querulous wife refuses to hide him and discloses his whereabouts to the new gang leader. Savely is transformed from a nonentity to a people’s avenger but when a prize is offered for his head the townsmen rush to capture the new Robin Hood.
The book lays bear the author’s frustration at the perceived willingness of the Russian people to reject change in favour of putting up with a known and quantifiable evil.
Liza Alexandrova-Zorina was born in 1984 and grew up in a little town on Kola Peninsula beyond the Arctic Circle. She currently lives in Moscow. She is a prolific journalist, famous blogger and public activist. Winner of the Northern Star Prize in 2010 Liza was a finalist in two important literary competitions: Debut Prize and NOS (2012), with her novel The Little Man. Her other prize-winning book is the collection of short stories The Rebel.
Also available as an eBook here.