Presentation of My Children, a novel by Guzel Yakhina (edited by Yelena Shubina, AST, 2018)
My Children is a new novel by Guzel Yakhina, the brightest debutante in the history of contemporary Russian literature, the winner of the Big Book and Yasnaya Polyana awards for her best-selling book Zuleikha Opens her Eyes.
The Volga region in the 1920s 1930s. Jacob Bach is a Russian German, a teacher in the colony of Gnadenthal. He has long turned his back on the world, he raises his only daughter Anche on a secluded farm where he writes fairy tales that miraculously and tragically come to fruition in reality. "I wanted to tell about the bright, original, and lively world of the German Volga region, about a world that once upon a time was created by outsiders in a foreign country, and is now lost in the past. But this is also a story about how great love breeds fears in our hearts and at the same time helps them overcome." - Guzel Yakhina.
"Guzel Yakhina’s first novel, which became famous quickly and which, within a year after its debut, was already translated into thirty languages and won many of the world's top literary prizes, sent us to Siberia while, at the same time, showing the Tartar trace in herself, in Russia, and, we can say, in all of us. Now she plunges the reader into the cold waters of the Volga, into slimy moss and peat, into ripples and sludge, and into Ethel-Bulgu-Su. Her "folk idea," like the Volga, is deep, and she probes what is German in herself and in Russia, and, it can be said, in all of us. Meanwhile, the plot focuses generally on love, death, history, politics, war, and creativity..." - Yelena Kostyukovich.
Excerpt from the book:
”The children feared nothing. Bach recognized in their trusting gazes and open faces that very fearlessness that he had seen in Anche’s eyes from her very childhood. The children’s voices were full of faith and passion - of love and hope. Their gestures were free and joyful, and they carried this joy and freedom with them, the streets of Pokrov, the cramped quarters of the local workers’ clubs, theatres and reading halls. The fish and mouse-like faces of the adults did not frighten the children – perhaps they simply didn’t notice them. They passed through the fears of others as they might ford a narrow stream, remaining totally dry. The world was broken into two: the world of frightened adults and the world of fearless children stood next to each other but never crossed paths.”
Guzel Yakhina is a writer, a laureate of the Yasnaya Polyana and the Big Book prizes. She was born in Kazan, graduating from the Kazan State Pedagogical Institute, and the screenwriting faculty of the Moscow School of Cinema. Her debut novel Zuleikha Opens her Eyes was a literary event: more than 200 thousand copies were published and the novel was translated into 30 languages. Guzel Yakhina wrote Total Dictation in 2018.
The author will participate in the presentation.
Organized by the Yelena Shubina editors office of AST Publishers, the German Book Center in Moscow, and the office of the Frankfurt Book Fair in Russia.
Free admission with prior registration on TimePad.ru