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Sasha "Sankya" Tishin, and his friends are part of a generation stuck between eras. They don't remember the Soviet Union, but they also don't believe in the promise of opportunity for all in the corrupt, capitalistic new Russia. They belong to an extremist group that wants to build a better Russia by tearing down the existing one. Sasha, alternately thoughtful and na ve, violent and tender, dispassionate and romantic, hopeful and hopeless, is torn between the dying village of his youth and the soulless capital, where he and his friends stage rowdy protests and do battle with the police. When they go too far, Sasha finds himself testing the elemental force of the protest movement in Russia and in himself. Zakhar Prilepin
, one of Russia's most acclaimed and widely translated contemporary authors, was born in 1975. He is the author of five award-winning novels, three short story collections, and several works of nonfiction. His works have received the top literary prizes in Russia. He lives in Nizhny Novgorod, where he is the regional editor of the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta
. Originally published in 2006, Sankya is a cult sensation in Russia, where it won the Yasnaya Polyana Award and was shortlisted for the Russian Booker and the National Bestseller Prize. Sankya
is the basis for Kirill Serebrennikov's popular play Thugs. He was recently featured in a documentary on new Russian writers hosted by British actor Stephen Fry called Russia's Open Book: Writing in the Age of Putin.