Born in 1959 in Moscow and trained as a nuclear physicist, Zorin has some 20 books to his name and about 400 short stories published in magazines. His recent novels include The Second Coming, The House, Romance in Social Networks, The Clown’s Avatar, Why Live if you Die Tomorrow, The Eternity of the MomentT.
Winner of the Voloshin Prize and the “Golden Knight” Prize. Critics called Zorin a Russian Pavic and a Russian Suskind. “Zorin works in different styles as if each new work has been written by a different person. And yet Zorin is recognizable in each of them because he is inimitable.”
The Second Coming, a novel
This is a story of a middle-aged man’s revolt against traditional values drummed into our minds from school. As part of a mysterious sociological experiment he is made to go to a secondary school again. He perceives familiar knowledge from the vintage point of his age and reviews his whole life. Finally he undergoes a transformation which is both tragic and wonderful.
The House, a novel
The story of the four generations of an overcrowded residential building, spotlighting individual lives, tragic and extraordinary, tied into a single knot by Russian history. This is a social portrait presented as an allegory and a mystery with elements of an anti-utopia.
Why Live if You Die Tomorrow, a novel
Psychoanalyst Vladislav and his pupil Anton, on the latter’s initiative, start a most extraordinary game: to hunt out and kill each other unexpectedly. The deadly game introduces excitement into their colorless lives. Eventually their enmity is transformed into a friendship which grows into love and then downright passion. Their love is regarded as a perversion and a rebellion and rebels should be punished. Vladislav is sacked from his well-paid job while Anton is subjected to derision and humiliation. The two lovers dream to go to Indochina which they believe to be a promised land for people like themselves. One night Anton is attacked by some drunken youngsters and ends up in a hospital which he leaves in a wheelchair. Harassed and impoverished Vladislav still promises Anton to take him to Indochina. But instead, in a fit of hopeless desperation he shoots his partner in the head and immediately shoots himself.
Romance in Social Networks, a novel
Short-listed for the “National Bestseller” Prize.
The novel features some ordinary people immersed in social networks, who transform themselves into what they really want to be while their virtual, real, and invented lives intersect all the time. The chapters bear the names of famous Russian classics, such as “Dead Souls”, “Three Sisters”, “Poor People”, “Crime and Punishment”, etc. This is to underline the idea that today’s people are pretty much the same as the well-known characters from classical Russian literature. Social networks give them a chance to be different, to try a number of masks, and thus to cope with their complexes. Some look for adventure and excitement in the internet, others for love and consolation. Occasionally they find understanding and sympathy, which give them the courage to change their real life. But in most cases they leave social networks disappointed and deflated.
The Eternity of the Moment, a Novel by 200 Authors.
The novel is a mystification and a literary labyrinth in the manner of the “Thousand and One Night”. All the 200 authors are involved in their stories and tall tales on a par with their characters. Here reality and fantasy are mixed and action freely travels in space and time.