Synopses & Reviews
A vivid, shocking, at times poetic revelation of a world we never imagined existed. Siberian Education is a real-life Eastern Promises seen through the eyes of a boy growing up in the close-knit community of the Urkas, descendants of criminals relocated from Siberia to the banks of the Dniester River, between Moldavia and Ukraine, in the 1930s. A tale of an extreme boyhood -- violent, governed by rules of honour passed down through legend and taught via elaborate and mysterious tattoos, and ultimatedly doomed to disappear amidst post-Soviet capitalist gangsterism: an utterly unique look at a vanished society from someone who knew it intimately, even though he is not yet 30 years old.
From the Hardcover edition.
"Lilin may have the birthright of a crook, but he has the eye of an anthropologist, and he trains it on the folkways of an outlaw subculture as ritualized and moralistic as any religion." The New Yorker
"This is the Russian gangland recast as medieval Romance. . . . Amid the depravity of its anti-heroes, paints a memorable world of anarchism, devotion, humor and respect." Toby Lichtig
In a contested, lawless region between Moldova and Ukraine known as Transnistria, a tightly knit group of "honest criminals" live according to strict codes of ritualized respect and fierce loyalty. In a voice utterly compelling and unforgettable, Nicolai Lilin, born and raised within this exotic subculture, tells the story of his moral education outside the bounds of "society" as we know it, where men uphold values with passion--and often by brute force.
"Marvelous and Illuminating. . . . Forces us to reassess our notions of good and evil." --Irvine Welsh
About the Author
Nicolai Lilin grew up in Transnistria, which declared its independence from Russia in 1990 but has never been recognized as a state. His previous book, Siberian Education, was also a bestseller in Europe and has been made into a movie with John Malkovich. Lilin lives in Milan, where he has founded an art gallery called Kolima Contemporary Culture.