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Olga Slavnikova

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ISBN 13: 978-1-59020-309-5
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March 2010

Product Description

In a translation funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and executed to perfection by prize-winning translator Marian Schwartz, 2017 is part literary romance, part political thriller, and a stunning tale of adventure, fantasy and obsession.

Set in the near future, on the 100th anniversary of the Revolution, 2017 reveals a Russia devoid of art and innovation, but full of danger, scandal, and wildly intriguing characters. With its harsh climate, social and ecological problems, its impoverished underclass and criminal upper class, the mythical Riphean Mountains become the perfect setting for this stunningly crafted Russian favorite.

Raised in the city’s slums where violence and theft are necessities of survival, Krylov discovers at a young age that he has a gift for gem cutting. This talent allows him to attend a university, where the greedy Professor Anfilogov – a man who lives a double life as a teacher and a gem smuggler – recognizes his gift and takes him under his wing. As Anfilogov embarks upon a dangerous expedition to hunt a lost treasure of priceless rubies, Krylov also begins an adventure of his own while he awaits the Professor’s return. He meets a mysterious and beautiful stranger named Tanya to whom he is irresistibly drawn. Their scandalous affair soon becomes dangerously complex as Kryov’s ex-wife Tamara, the wealthy owner of an undertaker’s business, hires a spy to shadow their every rendezvous and reveal the secret to Tanya’s identity. Soon Krylov finds himself navigating through diamond mines deep in the Urals, the criminal conventions of the illegal gem trade and carnivalesque riots that mark the centennial of the October Revolution.

Author Information
OLGA SLAVNIKOVA won the Russian Booker prize in 2006 for 2017. She is the General Director of the Debut Independent Literary Prize. Her first novel, A Dragonfly Enlarged to the Size of a Dog (1996), was short-listed for the Russian Booker Prize. Her second work, Alone in the Mirror (1999), won the Pavel Bazhov Prize. 2017 is her fourth novel. She lives in Moscow.

MARIAN SCHWARTZ is a prize-winning translator of Russian fiction, history, biography, criticism, and fine art. She is the recipient of two translation fellowships from the NEA and is a past president of the American Literary Translators Association.

Praise for 2017

"It is an unsettling but satisfying experience.” -- The New York Journal of Books

"2017 is packed so full of ideas and images it sometimes threatens to explode under the pressure. Its strength is in its linguistic subtlety and ingenuity." --Telegraph

“Slavnikova is a cheeky, intelligent, and forceful storyteller, and the book—which won the 2006 Russian Booker Prize—is a love story and treasure hunt, with the unlikely, downtrodden hero Krylov at the helm… Slavnikova is a thoroughly modern writer; her cutting humor and over-the-top descriptions of classic Russian characters and nouveau-riche thugs recall Russian-born American writer Gary Shteyngart… Though the plot twists can be outlandish, Slavnikova’s sensitivity to detail, character, and the human condition keeps 2017 clear in the reader’s mind, long after the excursion is over.” --ForeWord

“But Slavnikova’s characters are magnetizing, and her crystal clear vision of a world in which “commercial infinities” choke off humanism and art is salubriously caustic.” -- Booklist

"In short, a gem." -- Russian Life

“Slavnikova's style ¬– rich, mystical, sometimes almost incantatory – is also striking…2017 is an odd piece of work, but it has its rewards.” -- Complete Review

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