By Alisa Ganieva
Translated from the Russian by Dr. Carol Apollonio
Runner-up for 2015 Russian Booker Prize
A multilayered, magical story of love and fate as two modern city-dwellers grapple with traditional family expectations to find happiness.
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
From one of the most exciting voices in modern Russian literature, Alisa Ganieva, comes Bride and Groom, the tumultuous love story of two young city-dwellers who meet when they return home to their families in rural Dagestan. When traditional family expectations and increasing religious and cultural tension threaten to shatter their bond, Marat and Patya struggle to overcome obstacles determined to keep them apart, while fate seems destined to keep them together until the very end.
Alisa Ganieva, born in 1985, grew up in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, and currently lives in Moscow. Her literary debut, the novella Salaam, Dalgat!, published under a male pseudonym, provoked contradictory reactions in Russia: astonishment, especially among young Russians, at this unknown part of their country; and anger among radical Islamists at this negative portrayal of their homeland by one of their own. Salaam, Dalgat! won the prestigious Debut Prize in 2009, and Ganieva revealed her true identity only at the award ceremony. Ganieva works as a journalist and literary critic. The Mountain and the Wall is her first novel, shortlisted for all three of Russia's major literary awards, and has already been translated into several languages.
Dr. Carol Apollonio is Professor of Slavic & Eurasian Studies at Duke University. Her most recent translations include German Sadulaev's The Maya Pill (Dalkey Archive, 2014) and new versions of Chekhov stories. In addition to being an accomplished translator, Dr. Apollonio is also one of the world’s foremost scholars on both Fyodor Dostoevsky and Anton Chekhov. She was awarded the Russian Ministry of Cultures prestigious Chekhov Medal in 2011 for her contribution to the study of Anton Chekhov’s literature.
Longlisted for the Read Russia 2020 Prize
Runner-up for the 2015 Russian Booker Prize
One of The Globe and Mail's 100 Best Books of 2018
One of World Literature Today's Notable Translations of 2018
One of the Asian Review of Books’ Best Books of 2018
One of Russia Beyond's 7 Russian Books Translated in 2018 You Have to Read
Included in Strand Bookstore’s “Best of Small Press” Shelf in Manhattan, NYC (November 2018)
Author Alisa Ganieva wrote an op-ed for The New York Times on the revisionist history of Russia! (December 2018)
“The book is wonderfully transportive, and while full of beautifully rendered details of North Caucasian landscapes and traditional familial connection, it’s set against the unmistakable backdrop of the post-Soviet world; Marat’s role as a lawyer looking into the ghoulish murder of a human rights activist smacks of specificities that define some of post-Soviet Russia’s darkest moments. Most pertinent of all is the theme of generational divide which undergirds much of the drama between the characters. Though set in the traditional confines of a largely Muslim North Caucasus, this divide is a microcosm for a very real wedge between two distinct generations in Russia today, a wedge that’s become a powerful force in struggles from music consumption and social media, to what the future of Russian politics will look like.” —Nadia Beard, The Calvert Journal
“Much as they try, [the characters’] individual stories are mere fodder for the dysfunctional social order built on systemic corruption and terror.” —Olga Zilberbourg, World Literature Today
"A bold and startling novel." —Viv Groskop, The Guardian
"Ganieva's writing has a kind of magic." —Lauren Smart, Dallas Observer