Winner of the Russian Booker Prize
A New Statesman Book of the Year Pick
In the year 2017 in Russia poets and writers are obsolete, class distinctions are painfully sharp, and spirits intervene in the lives of humans from their home high in the mythical Riphean Mountains.
Professor Anfilogov, a wealthy and emotionless man, embarks on an expedition to unearth priceless rubies that no one else has been able to locate. Young Krylov, a talented gem cutter whom Anfilogov has taken under his wing, is seeing off his mentor at the train station when he is drawn to a mysterious stranger who calls herself Tanya. A scandalous affair ensues, but trouble arises in the shape of Krylov’s ex-wife Tamara and a spy who appears at the lovers’ every rendezvous and looks strangely familiar to Krylov. As events unfold, Krylov begins to learn more than he bargained for about the women in his life and realises why he recognises the spy from somewhere deep within his past.
Meanwhile, Anfilogov’s expedition reveals ugly truths about man’s disregard for nature and the disasters that are born of insatiable greed…
Read an extract here!
'2017 is packed so full of ideas and images it sometimes threatens to explode under the pressure. Its strength is in its linguistic subtlety and ingenuity' Telegraph
' repays reading for its stilled scenes... movement occurs at the level of poetry rather than action' TLS
'There are breathtaking, baroque descriptions of the natural world, a love story set against a desolate cityscape, exquisite touches of magic realism and science fiction. It is one of the most bizarre, beautiful books I've read in years' New Statesman
'It is an unsettling but satisfying experience' The New York Journal of Books
'A provocative mix of mystery and satire prove demanding. But Slavnikova’s characters are magnetizing' Booklist
'In short, a gem' Russian Life
'Deep-rooted paganism and folklore are just two of the facets of Russian culture the book begins to explore. “2017” is packed so full of ideas and images it sometimes threatens to explode ... these dense hills of text hide invaluable riches' Russia Beyond the Headlines
'A warning about the future direction of Russia' Publishers Weekly
'readers should enjoy this book as they would enjoy a fine meal: slowly and thoughtfully' The University of Rochester's Three Percent
'Startlingly beautiful and refreshing prose and undiluted strangeness' Strange Horizons
'Slavnikova’s sensitivity to detail, character, and the human condition keeps 2017 clear in the reader’s mind, long after the excursion is over' ForeWord Reviews
'Slavnikova is a talented writer, one capable of fantastic (and fantastical) description, given to lovely flights of fancy and unexpected analogies, easily superior to Orwell as a prose stylist' Rain Taxi Review of Books