Yuri Druznhikov is often described as cross between Bulgakov and Solzhenitsyn, has been a bestseller many times over in his native Russia, has received ecstatic plaudits in France, Italy, Germany and across Eastern Europe and has even been nominated for the Nobel Prize. He has not yet, however, received similar recognition in the English language. Perhaps this volume will help. In this heartfelt collection of stories Druznhikov describes life in Russia before and after the collapse of Communism as well as the plight of Russian emigres in the USA in post communist times. A tour guide is so in love with Pushkin that she lives with his wooden effigy, a businessman intent on enjoying his Kaif, a teacher informed that he wants to retire, a taxi driver taking his daughter along with him on his rounds...The characters to be found in this rambunctious volume are both recognisable and bizarre, capable of cowardly corruptions but also heroic honesties, minor loves and major lusts, oppressed and bewildered but also invigorated by the challenge that everyday life presents - whatever economic system they live under.
Yuri Druzhnikov's work has sold over 250,000 copies in Russia and he is considered by many European authors (including Alexander Solzhenitsyn) to be one of the most important Russian writers of modern times. His novel Angels on the Head of a Pin was named one of the ten best Russian novels of the twentieth century at the 1999 Warsaw conference. In 2001 he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature. He teaches at the University of California at Davis.