Roman Senchin

Chego vy khotite? What do you want?
Novel. Eksmo. Moscow 2014. 170 pages
Foreign rights: France/ Noir sur Blanc

Dasha is fourteen years old. Through her and with this book Senchin more or less grants us access to his own home by presenting his daughter, himself, his family and friends as typical representatives of a place and a time. With Dasha‘s documentary-like inner perspective Senchin brings us directly into the midst: we hear the conversations, observe the everyday life of a normal family who had moved from Siberia to Moscow, had been able to get more or less settled and is now able to keep their heads above water without acknowledging that their social situation is in fact a dead end. There are millions of such families in Moscow, and all of them would of course prefer to live in peace and prosperity. At first glance Senchin seems to be describing two parallel realities: here the parents, there the youth. Yet the author does in fact leave everything to fourteen year old Dasha, through whose eyes and ears we experience the winter of 2011-2012 when civil protests were staged outside her home on the streets of Moscow. And inside the adults getting all worked up. What do they want there on Bolotnaya Square with their white armbands? Who are they, American agents or normal Russian people baring their souls? In this book it is not the pubescent teenagers who are the problem, it is the adults. Dasha finds more questions than answers when she tries to understand her parents’ world. When, in the end, Dasha understands that parents can also have doubts, make mistakes, torture themselves helplessly, that her parents are also in the same state of incomprehension as the rest of the country, that is when she takes he first major steps towards adulthood.