ELKOST International Literary Agency

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The Prussian Bride, 1998

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Rights are handled on behalf of Editions Gallimard

Rights sold to: Estonia - Loomingu Raamat, France – Gallimard, Hungary – Kalligram, Poland – Czytelnik, Russia - NLO, Slovakia – Kalligram, UK/US – Dedalus

Apollon Grigoriev Prize 1999
Rossica Translation Prize 2005 (translation by Oliver Ready)

 

The Prussian Bride, unfolds a  strange hodge podge of blunt fiction and fantastical hallucination. The action in the thirty short stories of the collection takes place in the area of Kaliningrad, where the writer was born back in 1954. The writer depicts the daily life of forlorn, mortified, alcoholic or sick locals who are haunted by the fantasy of a lost paradise. Dark and tragic accounts sliding along from rational to imaginary.

Each of Yuri Buida’s short stories gathered here explore the territory between the Vistula and Niemen which once used to be eastern Prussia. The myth of a glorious past left its marks in the Kaliningrad area, he former Königsberg, but its inhabitants’ daily life is cold, dark and violent. Material and emotial misery is rampant, and violence is not only physical. The tone of this anthology, dedicated to the memory of a territory is absolutely tragic. Several recurring characters appear in this collection of thirty short stories, so that it can almost read like a novel. It definitely brings to mind the romanticism of E.T.A Hoffman, sprinkled with Russian excessiveness. “Chapters” in Buida’s novel display a wide variety of genres and styles, from fantasy and the grotesque to a stern (even cruel) realism. The author demonstrates plot ingenuity and a masterful use of shock effects.