Liza Alexandrova-Zorina, born in 1984 is a prize winning author, journalist, famous blogger, a popular columnist on leading opposition periodicals, and a public activist. She was a finalist in two important literary competitions: Debut Prize and NOS with her novel The Little Man, and also won of the Northern Star Prize for her collection of short stories The Rebel.
Her novels The Broken Doll and Man is a Noun were published by Eksmo in 1916.
The Little Man was published in French by L’Aube and in Arabic by Animar, Cairo. The Broken Doll coming out in French for L’Aube.
Readers’ reviews also compared The Little Man to Zvyagintsev’s prize-winning film Leviathan which is set in the same parts but was released later than the novel. Critics compared The Little Man to Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment.
“Liza is a fabulous writer. She has created an original universe which is typical of Russian literature.” – Bernard Werber
“I put her novels on the same shelf as works by Dostoyevsky and Bulgakov.” – Martine Van Goubergen, literary critic and scholar, Brussels
“Even though it's so dark, there's something that shines through as redeemable – perhaps it's just the ability to reveal the darkness for what it is without condoning it.” – Melanie Moore, translator of The Little Man
“Live dialogues, vivid imagery, striking metaphors. Colorful ethnographic details… Merciless and beautiful prose, pithy and precise, leaves no one unmoved…” – Book Review
“A frightening vision of Russia – this is how our young generation see their country. This is a novel of social protest written by a confident hand.” – Ex Libris
“Liza Alexandrova-Zorina sincerely feels for her weak and downtrodden characters, and her co – feeling for those unfortunates magically elevates them and ennobles her writing.”– SNOB
“The image of the ‘little man’ features in the works of Pushkin, Gogol, Chekhov, and Gorky. In Western literature this traditions is taken further by Camus, Beckett and Kafka. In other words, our Liza Alexandrova – Zorina is in good company which means that readers will expect her to live up to this level.” – Free Press
“Her writings reflect her active public position and social protest. She depicts the life of ‘redundant’ people who had failed to find a place in our society. These ‘humiliated and insulted’ individuals are nevertheless prepared to fight for their rights. Liza paints graphic pictures of squalid provinces, Moscow mafia, police lawlessness, and people’s helplessness in today’s Russia.” – ThankYou.ru
A third of our life we sleep
A novel, Eksmo, 2018
The protagonists have no names: just He and She. He is a 50-year-old failed author while She is a 20-year-old popular actress. They are inmates of an Oncological Center where He undergoes an operation for prostate cancer which makes him terminally impotent. She is dying of malignant lymphoma and has just two months left to live.
She’s been a film star since she was five but having played hundreds of various characters she never had a chance to develop her own personality, feelings, and thoughts – she is like a blank sheet of paper. She comes from a well-to-do family, she is a film star, but cancer interferes with her career and now she is dying in complete loneliness and misery under the vigilant eyes of video cameras broadcasting her predicament to millions of TV viewers. Left face to face with herself she is desperately trying to find her true self.
He barely makes ends meet with random journalistic assignments but he believes in personal independence and treasures every moment of life, every encounter and friendship, and every bit of pleasure life sends his way. He loves women and his loves are always reciprocated, he tends to find beauty in the ordinary, he enjoys nature and every glimpse of sunshine. In short he is an inveterate hedonist without the slightest intention to change. However his cancer and the post-operation treatment radically change his life and cause unpleasant hormonal changes in his appearance. Now he is tortured with the dilemma if it is worthwhile to continue living in his condition, what would be the purpose of such a life and what he would leave after his death.
The protagonists meet at the cancer hospital. He is fascinated with her otherworldly beauty withering away fast. He has a mad idea to give her some life before she dies. He kidnaps the girl and tries to fulfill all her wishes and dreams. They both try to find a meaning in their past life and the reason for the terrible punishment they have to bear.