Literalab’s Best Books of 2014: ‘Sankya’

“Prilepin has not merely turned inside out the consciousness of the entire post-Perestroika generation of politicized young Russians and laid it bare, but he also, in large part, predicted the patterns of development of radical political groups and the government’s strategy in combatting them.”

This is from Alexei Navalny’s introduction to Sankya by Zakhar Prilepin, translated from the Russian by Mariya Gusev, Jeff Parker and Alina Ryabovolova. Navalny himself is one of Putin’s biggest critics in Russia, and as The Washington Post just reported this week, Facebook has blocked a page supporting Navalny and protesting his 10-year prison sentence that critics claim is politically motivated.


In the introduction Navalny also wrote: “Even in Moscow, the Russian political process—with its so-called systemic opposition and its Putin-approved lawful methods of political competition—is perceived as total hypocrisy and political prostitution, but in the regions described in Sankya, it manifests itself as an unbearable daily existence preventing anyone with even a modicum of human dignity from becoming involved.”

Beyond its relevance the strength of the novel speaks for itself. Read the opening chapter in B O D Y here.

Photo – Zakhar Prilepin by Valeria Shibanova

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Categories: Best Reads


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One Comment on “Literalab’s Best Books of 2014: ‘Sankya’”

  1. ulysses
    31/12/2014 at 10:15 am #

    Indeed a brilliant book; one of the most authentic descriptions of the Russian reality.

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