Rights sold: Germany - HANSER, Hungary - MAGVETO, France – GALLIMARD, Russia - AST, Serbia - ARHIPELAG, World English (excerpt, magazine) - GRANTA, Finland (excerpt, magazine) - GRANTA/OTAVA
Non-fiction is a new form for Ludmila Ulitskaya, a new approach to the reader. For the very first time in her literary carrier, she speaks with reader in first person.
The book comprises:
- Ulitskaya's essays on topical issues in literature, art, religion, and politics;
- Reminiscences of friends and family, mostly departed;
- Stunning self-biographical account of her personal fight against breast cancer;
- Series of a very personal, but also philosophical meditations which move beyond the limitations of one individual and their personal destiny. Ulitskaya reflects on the end of life and the inevitability of death. These are her thoughts on an issue which disquiets each of us, demanding that we address it, while disconcerting us with its insolubility.
For most readers, Lyudmila Ulitskaya is primarily a writer of novels and novellas, a narrator of tales about other people. Her novels have spoken to the hearts of millions and given her the moral right to speak now not about other people’s histories but her own. Of late she has become for many not just an entertaining storyteller but a kind of confessor and confessional writer. Religious concerns are an important strand running through the entire text.
In recent years we have witnessed another qualitative change. Ulitskaya in Russia is no longer only a novelist but a commentator, responding to major events of our times. She is a guide for young, and not-so-young, people in the capitals and provinces as they find their way in life, measuring their actions against moral standards.
She envisaged and has created this book as a quiet, profound conversation with each individual reader. It is simply her voice from the pages of a book, the trenchant working of her mind, the vivid nature of her images, the power of her metaphors, the irony with which she express herself, - in short, the features which make her style unique and draw people to her.