Olga Slavnikova

2017 Novel. Vagrius. Moscow 2006. 450 pages.
Foreign rights: China, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Sweden, US

Why do a man and woman always arrange the place and time of their next rendezvous after their assignation? If they miss each other they will never see one another again. Why does a respectable professor secretly set off on a perilous journey to the mountains every year? Why does he then disappear without a trace? What spirits does Krylov, the main hero and an underground polisher of precious stones, encounter during his quest for the absolute clarity of the stones? What game is his mistress, the professor’s wife, playing? Is it purely human jealousy or is the mother of the copper mountains involved, she who is the stuff of myth and legend in the Urals?
Slavnikova’s latest novel is set in a large town in the Ural Mountains, against the background of the illegal precious stones business. For those who dare to venture into the mountains to go digging, the world of the legendary mountain spirits becomes reality. But they are used to the risks and know that they cannot trust anyone – not even their nearest and dearest.
In the meantime the year 2017 is approaching and the town square is being set up to mark the 100 year anniversary of the October revolution. The fancy dress show descends into severe chaos, however.