Mikhail Shishkin , Translated by Gesche Ipsen
In his timely new book, Mikhail Shishkin, argues that Russia is not a 'riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma': we just don't know enough about it. So what is the real story behind Putin's autocratic regime and its invasion of Ukraine?
In My Russia: War or Peace? Shishkin traces the roots of Russia's problems, from the 'Kievan Rus' via the Grand Duchy of Moscow, empire, revolution and Cold War, to the now thirty-year-old Russian Federation. He explores the uneasy relationship between state and citizens, explains Russian attitudes to people's rights and democracy, and proposes that there are really two Russian peoples: the disillusioned and disaffected, who suffer from 'slave mentality', and those who embrace 'European' values and try to stand up to oppression.
Both deeply personal and taking a broader historical view, My Russia is a passionate, eye-opening account of a state entangled in a complex and bloody past, as well as a love letter to a conflicted country. Will Russia continue its vicious circle of upheaval and autocracy, or will its people find a way out of history - and how can we help?
Born in 1961 in Moscow, Mikhail Shishkin is one of the most prominent names in contemporary Russian literature, and is the only author to have won all three major Russian Literary Prizes. He lives in Zurich.
|Literary Studies: General