A new name!
Alexei Vinokurov was born in 1969 in Perm. He worked on the MK daily, was a columnist on the New Times weekly, and on the Inostranets (Foreigner) weekly. In turn with Victor Shenderovich he used to write scripts for the popular satirical TV program “Puppets” and authored 20 other TV projects and plays for the theater.
His earlier publications include amusing books for young adults: About Poor Dwarf, Where We Are Not, The Country of Three Lands. Merlin’s Successor; and Denunciations of the Black Dog. Later the funny becomes increasingly infested with the terrifying while ordinary events and objects showed their metaphysical underside. Mystical elements are never straightforward in Vinokurov’s work. He resorts to Hoffmanesque double-worldliness when one and the same event can be simultaneously presented in fantastic terms as well as perfectly realistic terms.
Distinctions: First prize in the drama competition “Honor, Duty, Dignity” for the play “The Guardian”. Finalist in the competition “Russian Story” for the film script “The Four”. The novel Yankee in Russia was nominated for the National Bestseller Prize. Winner of the national competition “Best Book of 2012” for Denunciation of the Black Dog. Znamya Prize and “Globe” Prize for his novel People of the Black Dragon.
The latest novels:
The Guardian Angel, a novel.
Fabula Publishers (Ukraine), 2017. 430 pp.
The novel is devoted to the current Russo-Ukrainian conflict and the oppositionist movement in Russia. The author looks at the metaphysical volte-face of events representing the eternal fight between the forces of Darkness and Light. Apart from real people, some of them well-known public figures, the characters include the so-called guardian angels, that is, low-ranking angels living among people in human guises. The guardian angels look after people and society as a whole to prevent violations of the ages-old agreement between Heaven and Hell and keep a balance between good and evil. Living as ordinary earthlings the guardian angels are limited in their rights and authorities compared with their opponents.
People of the Black Dragon, a novel.
Eksmo Publishers. 2017. 280 pp.
Top prize of the Znamya magazine and the “Globe” Prize for 2017
Black Dragon is the Chinese name of the Amur marking the border between Russia and China. In the early 20th century the Russian side of the border was settled by Russians, Chinese and Jews. Their explosive coexistence created conditions for most amazing and extraordinary events which would hardly be possible anywhere else on earth. The novel embraces the 100-years history of this multinational settlement on the Amur.
The Dark Summits, a novel
This complexly structured and densely populated novel is about a transformation of a perfectly ordinary person into a cruel tyrant, also examining the nature of dictatorship as such. The stormy events unfolding in the book show us the seamy side of the Russian authorities, corrupted business creating situations of social injustice, and their shameless treatment of the gullible populace.
China Deciphered, a novel
Travelogue. 400 pp. AST Publishers. 2017.
A professional Sinologist and a brilliant writer, Vinokurov has written an adorable travelogue on modern China. It sheds light on this mysterious part of the world which is increasingly gaining in world importance. He and his wife, also a Sinologist, have travelled the length and breadth of the country. This witty, perspicacious and penetrating book is a pleasure to read providing many clues to the inscrutable Chinese culture. Due to its hieroglyphic language and strict observance of ancient traditions China differs so sharply from the rest of the world that no European, who is not part of its intricate network of inter-relationships, can make head or tail of it. Our questions puzzle the Chinese and their answers puzzle us. In order to put the right questions and understand the answers a European should first become deeply involved in the complicated system of Chinese inter-family and inter-clan ties. Vinokurov managed to penetrate the depths of Chinese life and decipher many of its riddles. He looks at Chinese medicine, food habits, architecture, and many unusual aspects of everyday life in China, he talks about their compulsive search for immortality and their secret teachings, their martial arts and world religions co-existing in China. With its distinctive world outlook China is not just a different civilisation but a different planet.