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Liza Alexandrova-Zorina


A novel

Translated by Melanie Moore

paper ISBN 9785717201247
ebook ISBN 9785717200998
200 pp.

Novel that echoes Crime and Punishment shows how Russians would rather withstand the evil they know than fight for change.

Gangsters take complete control of an industrial town with its corrupt authorities, business, and police. Defending his daughter, the protagonist accidentally shoots the chief gangster and has to go into hiding, first among the homeless at the town garbage dump, and then in the forest among Saami deer-breeders. He becomes transformed from a “little man” into a people’s avenger, killing the corrupt mayor and the chief of police. Through a series of tricky manipulations, a different person is accused of the serial murders in the interests of the new gangsters, who seize control of the town in the end.
The setting—a town on the Kola Peninsula above the Arctic Circle where the author spent her formative years—is clearly meant as a portrait in miniature of all of Russia and expresses young people’s social discontent. Action-packed and highly revealing, this novel abounds in interesting ethnographic details related to the indigenous Northern tribes of Saami and life in the Northern provinces.

The Little Man is also coming out in France and Egypt.

“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, the novel’s translator

From reviews:

"Merciless and beautiful prose, pithy and precise ... leaves no one unmoved."

"Real-life dialogues, vivid imagery, striking metaphors."

"A remarkable novel of social discontent written by a sure hand."

Liza Alexandrova-Zorina, born 1984, grew up in a little town on Cola Peninsula beyond the Arctic Circle (the setting of her novel). After graduation she has been living in Moscow. She is a prolific journalist, popular blogger, and public activist. She is a columnist on some leading opposition periodicals and also heads the literature section of the “” book portal.

Winner of the Northern Star Prize (2010) Liza was a finalist in two major literary competitions: Debut Prize and NOS (2012) with her novel The Little Man. Her other prize-winning book is the collection of short stories The Rebel. She writes both fiction and nonfiction.