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Alexander Pokrovsky

Sea Stories

Life on a submarine

ISBN 9785717201186

Translated by Noah Birksted-Breen & Tony Perry

Alexander Pokrovsky born in 1952, has written seventeen books based on his twenty years in the navy. These are mainly cycles of satirical stories, both funny and frightening, about the trials and trivialities of life on a nuclear submarine. Based on the author’s own experiences as an officer in the navy, they convince you of the sorry state of these underwater barracks that sometimes turn into common graves. Pokrovsky’s picture of life in the Russian navy is less harsh than its prototype: he intentionally avoids traumatizing the reader, yet for those unfamiliar with the navy his stories make your flesh creep.

Pokrovsky grew up in Baku on the Caspian Sea where he enrolled in the Caspian Navy School and upon graduation was sent to the Northern Fleet. There he served on atomic submarines and also started writing as a way of “relieving the boredom of night watches”. By the time of his discharge from the navy he had some 500 unpublished but widely circulating stories to his name. Today he has more than a thousand.

A number of his stories have been published in other languages, including one cycle in English in Strange Soviet Practices (Glas 34) and Sea Stories. Army Stories (Glas 42). In Russia, his books are printed and reprinted in hundreds of thousands copies. Pokrovsky is particularly popular in St Petersburg – where more than a million people used to serve in the navy – and other cities on the sea.

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