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Gelasimov, Andrei Gods of the Steppe ISBN 13: 9781611090734

Gods of the Steppe - Softcover

 
9781611090734: Gods of the Steppe

It is the summer of 1945. Germany has been defeated, Hitler has disappeared, and tensions are mounting ever higher along the Russian-Chinese border...where the threat of Japanese invasion haunts.

For Petka, no life could be more thrilling and glorious than marching into battle alongside the Red Army. But he is only twelve, the bastard child of a fractured family, trapped in a village too tiny for his bursting spirit. So he must make his own adventure wherever he can find it. And if that means passing off a wolf cub as a puppy under the nose of his ferocious grandma, stealing bootleg alcohol for the bivouacked troops he worships, smuggling himself in a barrel across the border and into the line of fire, fighting for his life when his own aimless peers turn inexplicably vicious, or befriending an enigmatic Japanese POW who transcends Petka’s provincial world, then so be it.

By turns comical, harrowing, poignant, and exhilarating, Petka reveals the soul of a boy who knows only to take from life all that he can—not merely what his circumstances allow.

Nominated for the 2014 Rossica Translation Prize.

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About the Author:

Andrei Gelasimov was born in Irkutsk, one of the largest cities in Siberia, in 1965. He went on to study foreign languages at the Yakutsk State University, as well as directing at the Moscow Theater Institute. In 2001 he came to popular literary acclaim in Russia when his story “A Tender Age,” which he originally published on the Internet, was included in an issue of the journal Oktyabr, and his novella and collection of short stories, Fox Mulder Looks Like a Pig,was released. Gods of the Steppe is his third novel to be published in English, following Thirst, for which Booklist praised “Gelasimov’s spare prose and pointed dialogue,” and The Lying Year, which was developed into a motion picture. Gelasimov’s work has garnered the Apollon-Grigorev prize and a Belkin prize nomination. Gods of the Steppe won the 2009 National Bestseller award in Russia.

From Publishers Weekly:
Gelasimov (The Lying Year), winner of Russia’s National Bestseller Prize, chronicles the Russian experience of WWII through the eyes of 12-year-old Petka Chizhov, a fatherless boy living close to the country’s border with China. In 1945, with the war winding down, Petka strives to emulate the Soviet war heroes he idolizes by searching for Adolf Hitler, while also trying to evade his irascible, peripheral vision–challenged Granny Daria. He befriends thirsty Red Army troops guarding Japanese POWs by selling them contraband alcohol, which he steals from his smuggler grandfather, and listening to their tales. Petka also forges an unexpected bond with one of the camp’s captives, Miyanga Hirotaro, a well-educated herbalist. Miyanga passes the time writing an account of his family’s samurai heritage on “Soviet school paper, of rather poor quality, in faint blue quadrille,” that he plans to give to his sons in Nagasaki after the war. In the meantime, his relationship with Petka transcends the boundaries of war and prejudice. Gelasimov skillfully moves between the lives of these two characters, capturing the humor and humanity with which they face bleak circumstances. (Sept.)

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  • PublisherAmazon Crossing
  • Publication date2013
  • ISBN 10 1611090733
  • ISBN 13 9781611090734
  • BindingPaperback
  • Number of pages256
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