Zuleikha

Pages: 496
Subject: Fiction, Translated Fiction
Imprint: Oneworld

Zuleikha

Guzel Yakhina

Translated by Lisa C. Hayden
A multi-prize-winning debut novel from one of Russia's most exciting new talents
Hardback
9781786073495 (7 Mar 2019)
RRP £16.99 / US$26.95

The Book

 

WINNER OF THE BIG BOOK AWARD, THE YASNAYA POLYANA AWARD AND THE BEST PROSE WORK OF THE YEAR AWARD

 

A sweeping, multi-award winning novel set in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, as gangs of marauding soldiers terrorise and plunder the countryside.

Zuleikha, the 'pitiful hen', is living in the home of her brutal husband and despotic mother-in-law in a small Tatar village. When her husband is executed by communist soldiers for hiding grain, she is arrested and sent into exile in Siberia. In the first gruelling winter, hundreds die of hunger, cold and exhaustion. Yet forced to survive in that harsh, desolate wilderness, she begins to build a new life for herself and discovers an inner strength she never knew she had. Exile is the making of Zuleikha. 

Additional Information

Subject Fiction, Translated Fiction
Pages 496
Imprint Oneworld

 

About the Author

Guzel Yakhina (b. 1977 Kazan, Tatarstan) is a Russian author and filmmaker of Tatar origins. She graduated from the Kazan State Pedagogical University and completed her PhD at the Moscow Filmmaking School. Zuleikha is her first novel.

Lisa C. Hayden's translations from the Russian include Eugene Vodolazkin's Laurus, which won a Read Russia Award in 2016. Laurus and Lisa's translation of Vadim Levental's Masha Regina were both shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize. Her blog, Lizok's Bookshelf, examines contemporary Russian fiction. She lives in Maine, USA.

Reviews

 'An intimate story of human endurance.'

- The Calvert Journal

‘Written in a rich and highly visual prose... Zuleikha's story is one of injustice and pain, but also of a woman's emancipation and renewal.' 

- Associated Press

'It is 1930 in the Soviet Union and Josef Stalin's dekulakization programme has found its pace. Among the victims is a young Tatar family: the husband murdered, the wife exiled to Siberia. This is her story of survival and eventual triumph. Winner of the 2015 Russian Booker prize, this debut novel draws heavily on the first-person account of the author's grandmother, a Gulag survivor.' 

- The Millions, 'Most Anticipated Books of 2019'

'Guzel Yakhina's novel hits the heart. It's a powerful anthem for love and tenderness in hell.'

- Ludmila Ulitskaya, author of The Big Green Tent

'There's something that Guzel Yakhina succeeds in transmitting with an amazing, sharp exactness: a woman's attitude towards love. Not towards a subject of love, but towards love itself.'

- Anna Narinskaya, literary critic

‘Yakhina's debut novel has shaken the Russian book world so deeply over its first three years of life that her second book topped the 2018 sales charts alongside international bestsellers by Dan Brown and Jojo Moyes... This tale of a woman who holds onto compassion while enduring atrocity also features cinematic narration and intricate plot construction.'

- Meduza, 2019's top Russia-Related Books