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Guzel Yakhina

Guzel Yakhina

Born in Kazan, Guzel Yakhina is a Russian author and screenwriter. She is the winner of the Big Book literary prize and the Yasnaya Polyana Literary Award. She has denounced Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, stating publicly that “This is not my war. I refuse to consider it mine.”

All Guzel Yakhina's books

Latest reviews

  • “Offset by darkly brooding interludes."
    — The New York Times, Feb 1 2024
  • “Yakhina’s novel shows how one eccentric dreamer manages, at least temporarily, to avoid the brutal forces of collectivization.”

    — The New York Times, Jan 16 2024
  • A Volga Tale matches the power and majesty of that great river.”

    — On the Seawall, Jan 9 2024
  • “Gannon’s translation and Yakhina’s writing are undeniably brilliant. Sentences are rich with description and characterization, and replete with atmosphere. This is a wonderfully quirky novel...interspersed with themes of human resilience.”
    — Historical Novels Review, Nov 8 2023
  • “[A] rich epic...Yakhina charts the brutal decades of Stalin's collectivization and repression, and creates a moving portrait of the teacher's profound love for his family, and of Russia's multiethnic population.”
    — The New Yorker, Nov 8 2023
  • “A delightfully translated novel combining fairy tale and historical fiction in a fully satisfying story of a misfit struggling to sustain life in a perilous time.”
    — Reading the West, Sep 19 2023
  • A Volga Tale is a rich, fantastical, and often disquieting historical novel in which a man who’s obsessed with language inhabits a country that’s been devastated by war and corruption.”
    — Foreword Reviews, Sep 19 2023
  • “Inventive...Guzel Yakhina’s masterstroke is her decision to allow us to witness the tumult taking place in Gnadenthal through the eyes of her beloved creation Bach, whose entrenched apathy becomes the focal point around which all else follows.”
    — World Literature Today, Sep 19 2023
  • “In sumptuous scenes...Ms. Yakhina’s Volga merges with the Magdalena that flows through Gabriel García Márquez’s fiction. Magic trumps realism.”
    — Wall Street Journal, Sep 19 2023


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