Over the past several years Zakhar Prilepin has emerged as a discovery in the world of prose fiction. Drawing on his experiences of peacetime labour in post-perestroika Russia, as well as his service with the Russian Special Forces in Chechnya, Zakhar Prilepin creates in the novelSinan outstanding and controversial piece of work, winning several prestigious literary awards, including The National Bestseller Prize (2008), The Super Natsbest Prize (2011), and the honourable Alexander Nevsky Award “The True Sons of Russia”.
In the episodes of Zakharka’s happy life, in non-chronological order, the reader sees himas a little boy, a bitterly drinking grave-digger, a nightclub bouncer ora soldier in Chechnya. The happiness of poor Zakharka even in doing dirty work is shown withbrutal honesty and breaks all the genre’s rules. On top of everything, this guy even writes poetry, and his stylistically varied verses are presented in the penultimate chapter, “In other words”.
Manhood in the flesh, he is overwhelmed by instincts and overcomes themnot without pleasure, preserving what is truly important in life. He looks boldly, and even with curiosity, intothe face of death -either taking pictures of the deceased at a funeral orstaring agitatedly at a just-disembowelled pig - and values the freedom of not fearing for his life, perhaps even more than life itself. And only two young sons make him understand that this freedom isnot hisanymore.
Like the Russian soul itself, Zakharka is lost in search of his place in this newly-reorganized world. He is a kind of goodness with fists, full of youthful energy and daring, capable yet of truly loving and changing today, even in little things – in order to obtain justice.
Sin offers a fascinating window into the soul of those whom you can see on the streets doing menial jobs, or stone-faced Russian army recruits who will come back from war to find themselves chucking drunken visitors out of a nightclub.
About Zakhar Prilepin:
Intelligent, imaginative and talented, Zakhar Prilepin was born near Ryazan (Russia) in 1975 and has built a life out of doing what many people might think to be the unbelievable. Before dedicating himself to writing he studied philology at the university, worked as a labourer, as a journalist, as a security guard and as a soldier of the Russian Special Forces in the anti-terror campaign in Chechnya. Fuelled by an inherent need to fight for justice, Prilepin is a political activist famous for his extremenational-
As a product of post-communist Russia, Prilepin’s works cover such topics as chronic unemployment, the Chechen war, cruelty and rooted violence. However, his actual and up-to-date novels feature such so-called “eternal” themes as happiness, friendship, love, sin, death. Thus, Prilepin’s book Sinexplores the reality of our cruel times from the perspective of real values and the possibility of happiness.
Sentimental and impetuous in his literary works, honest and intolerant in his political statements, Zakhar Prilepin is one of the most welcome guests on prestigious TV talk shows, butprefers living in a Russian province on a lonely lakeside, devoting his time to literature and bringing up his four children.
Prilepin's combination of lucid prose and social consciousness has made him one of the most popular and acclaimed writers in Russia today and drawn comparisons with the Russian classics. Deeply committed to his writing, Prilepin continues to create works topping the bestseller lists and acquiring him the most prestigious awards. Prilepin's books have been translated into numerous foreign languages; the English translation of his novel Sin is presented by Glagoslav Publications for the first time.