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Alexander Pokrovsky


Translated by Noah Birksted-Breen

Alexander Terekhov


Translated by Ben Hooson

ISBN 978-5-7172-0079-0

realities of life inside the army

Even in the absence of war, the army, anywhere, is a cruel, unsafe, and closed world, perhaps more so in Russia due to its outdated compulsory national service and poor economic conditions. Now, thanks to the growing movement of Soldiers' Mothers Committees around the country, the public is increasingly aware of the realities of life inside the army with its violation of basic human rights, its corruption, hazing, cruel repressions and senseless violence that result in the systematic suppression and even elimination of the healthiest young men in Russia.
Since young men are drafted in their formative years the army can easily break them morally, and often physically too, so that they are often not able or willing to continue their education and participate in constructive activities. Men's post-army adaptation has been a problem around the world since ancient times, all the more so because soldiers keep silent about their experiences.

The two authors presented in this collection were the first in Russia to write openly and frankly on the painful subject of army life today. In the mid-1990s they made a considerable splash not only with their shocking revelations but also with their outstanding literary merits. They related their traumatic first-hand experiences without losing sight of man's better nature. Both writers avoid direct utterances and verdicts, preferring to paint a picture through a mosaic of scenes and dialogues, which allow readers to make their own judgments. Both authors are famous for their rich language and wit, which shine through even in translation.

Alexander Pokrovsky's cycle of satirical stories about the trials and trivialities of life on a nuclear submarine are both funny and frightening. Based on the author's 15 years as an officer in the navy, they convince you of the sorry state of these underwater vessels that sometimes turn into common graves. Pokrovsky, born in 1952, has a number of widely acclaimed books to his name based on his naval experiences, which he "can't get out of his system". In Russia his books are printed and reprinted in hundreds of thousands copies.
Sample writing For Mother Russia

"Terekhov's language is packed with forceful imagery and the slang of modern Russian. If we wish to identify precedents for his work we might look to Saltykov-Shchedrin from the 19th century for his satire of provincial life, and Platonov in the early Soviet period for his range of imagery and individuality of language. Terekhov, however, is a young and vital writer drawing very much on his own resources and experiences, with a distinctive and individual intonation." The Moscow Times
Alexander Terekhov, born in 1966, is a highly acclaimed author in Russia who has also been published in Germany, France, and the UK.
Sample writing Fear of Frost