The Vital Needs Of The Dead by Igor Sakhnovsky

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Binding: Paperback,
162 pages
Format: 203mm x 127mm

Binding: Hardback ,
162 pages
Format: 203mm x 127mm


Binding: Kindle

Binding: PDF

Imprint: Glagoslav

What needs might the dead have? Our loved ones stay with us after they’ve gone.

Love, death and memory breathe in unison in the novel by Igor Sakhnovsky.

The Vital Needs of the Dead is a tender coming-of-age story set in the provinces of the Soviet Union in the second half of the 20th century. At the centre of this story, praised by Russian critics for its blend of realism and lyrical sensibility, lies the relationship of young Gosha Sidelnikov with his alluring and mysterious grandmother Rosa, who becomes his caregiver when he is virtually abandoned by his busy and distant parents. This relationship colors Sidelnikov’s subsequent forays into first love and sexual awakening. Even after her death, memories of Rosa accompany him into his adventures as a provincial student. Then, one miserably cold winter night, her voice commands him to immediately depart for a place he’s never been before, precipitating a mysterious chain of events.

This semi-biographical story of ‘sentimental education’ of a young man in a Russian province chronicles his life from childhood to university years, with his first love, to an older woman, his attempt to break out of the provincial morass and the choices he has to make. Dealing with the complex issues of identity, sexuality and alienation of adolescence, the story of ironical and observant Gosha Sidelnikov is a rich extract of the youth's restless spirit, full of disappointment, passion and denial.   

The book was highly acclaimed in Russia and firmly established Igor Sakhnovsky as one of the most interesting Russian writers of today. The novel was shortlisted for National Bestseller Prize and gained Sakhnovsky the prestigious Fellowship by the Hawthornden International Retreat for Writers (UK).

Translated by Julia Kent.
Edited by Nina Chordas

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