One of the first twenty-first century Russian novels to probe the legacy of the Soviet prison camp system by one of Russia's finest young writers.
A young man travels to the vast wastelands of the Far North to uncover the truth about a shadowy neighbour who saved his life, and whom he knows only as Grandfather II. What he finds, among the forgotten mines and decrepit barracks of former gulags, is a world relegated to oblivion, where it is easier to ignore both the victims and the executioners than to come to terms with a terrible past.
This disturbing tale evokes the great and ruined beauty of a land where man and machine worked in tandem with nature to destroy millions of lives during the Soviet century. Emerging from today's Russia, where the ills of the past are being forcefully erased from public memory, this masterful novel represents an epic literary attempt to rescue history from the brink of oblivion.
Antonina W. Bouis