Travel writer, journalist and close friend of Today Translations Jonathan Bastable has recently released his first novel. Devil’s Acre: A Russian Novel has just been published on Kindle and tells the story of love, suppression and forbidden architecture in Soviet Russia.
Devil’s Acre is set in Moscow in 1982. Vadim, a young man from Leningrad, is headed to the capital to begin his journalism studies at MGU, Moscow State University. This goal, however, is to find out as much as possible about the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour – built by the Kremlin as a memorial to Russia’s victory over Napoleon, but demolished in 1931 to make space for the enormous Palace of Soviets. The Palace, regarded at the time as the beacon of communism, never materialised. The Cathedral of Christ, meanwhile, became a taboo subject and the mere mention of the lost church was seen as an act of anti-Soviet propaganda.
Vadim, knowing this, continues to proceed with his quest. And when he enlists the help of Rachel, an American exchange student, his passion draws them both into a sinister and dangerous vortex;
Jonathan Bastable, a fluent Russian speaker, lived in Leningrad and Moscow for several years, giving him a first-hand account of life in Russia and a specialised knowledge of the country. His previous publications have been historical works and journalistic pieces, many of which have been translated into various languages.
Fans of the book are welcome to leave a review on the Amazon page here.
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