Leonid Yuzefovich

Zimnyaya doroga Winter Road
Documentary prose. 2016. 426 pages
Awards: 2016 National Bestseller Award, Big Book Award

Foreign rights: Armenia/ ALRD, Bulgaria/ Ednorog, France/ Noir sur Blanc, Latvia/ EklektikaE, Mongolia/ ONON,
Poland/ Noir sur Blanc, Serbia/ Russika

In St. Petersburg the Bolsheviks have already won the Civil War. But in the far east of Siberia, the Yakuts have dared to launch the final uprising against the Red Army. The scattered remains of the White Army have also withdrawn to far off Siberia. Among them is General Anatoly Pepelyaev who in 1922 hastens to the aid of the Yakuts in Vladivostok with a force of volunteers. Pepelyaev - a poet and seeker of truth, a fighter for self-determination and the freedom of men - sees in supporting the Yakuts a last chance to defend his own political ideals.

His opponent on the other side is the commander of the Red Army: the anarchist and author-to-be Ivan Strod. He, too, is an exceptionally enigmatic character of the Revolution years. We are thus introduced to two men, who purely by coincidence have become ideological enemies, despite being driven by similar principles.

By using this hardly known episode of the Russian Revolution in his twice award-winning non- fictional novel, Yuzefovich is able to portray deeper human motives: the love, passion and individual suffering that are buried in the ideology are revealed and the characters shown to be both oppressor and victim. In the end each individual is responsible for the Russian tragedy.

Thanks to his literary creativity, Yuzefovich is able to turn the strictly formalised reports of the time into realistic stories reflecting the deeply human aspects of those events.