Glagoslav Publications Brings Out Ilget by Alexander Grigorenko, in Which Magical Realism and Siberian Folklore and Mythology Are Intertwined, Into English for the First –

London, United Kingdom, March 14, 2024 –(– Summary:

Ilget is the story of a frail foundling who loses his twin brother, then by the will of mysterious supernatural forces goes from being a thrall under his adoptive father to the leader of a whole tribe. He finds himself enslaved once more when the Mongols invade the banks of his native Yenisei River, but ultimately comes to realize a truth: the greatest of blessings is to live without fear.
Ilget is the second book in Grigorenko’s “Taiga Trilogy”. When first published in Russian, the novel was nominated for the NOS (New Literature) prize in 2013 and the Bolshaya Kniga (Big Book) award in 2014.

A Krasnoyarsk newspaper wrote of the novel, “The author works with myth like a skilled craftsman sculpting a dugout canoe from a cedar trunk: with powerful, deliberate movements he hollows out the wooden interior and decorates the structure that emerges with coarse writing in praise of nameless spirits. When you board this boat, first your curiosity will be sparked; then things might turn uncomfortable; and you begin to understand that you will either perish or make it to the far shore.” Even more ethnographic and exotic than Grigorenko’s first novel Mebet, Ilget is imbued with magical realism, based on Siberian folklore and mythology.

About the Author:

The writer’s studio is a dacha deep in the taiga, where electricity is intermittent and there is no mobile phone signal. The author’s second novel depicts events which took place eight centuries ago. The central characters are people who lived along the banks of Siberia’s great river at a time when the outside world first shook “the tree of the Yenisei” and Genghis Khan’s mounted warriors raced over the ice. Peoples who lived on the margins – the Kets, the Tungus, the Yuraks – were inevitably swept into the course of world history. In an interview, the author himself explained why he chooses such unusual settings and characters: “Because in the Russian cultural consciousness, the taiga does not exist. That culture stops at the Urals, and there is only emptiness beyond. I therefore wanted to show just what culture is hidden behind that apparent void.”

Review copies are available upon request.

Title: Ilget: The Three Names of a Life
Author: Alexander Grigorenko
Translator: Christopher Culver
Publisher: Glagoslav Publications B.V.
Language: English
ISBN: 9781804841259, 9781804841266
Extent: 471 pages
Price: €22.99 (PB), €27.99 (HB), €9.99 (e-book)
Format: paperback, hardback, e-book