By Alla Gorbunova
Translated by Elina Alter
Otherworldly forces, dark phantasmagoria, the horrors of underground life, adolescence and rebellion, myth and fairy tale all swirl together in Alla Gorbunova's audacious and spectacular novel.
Publication Date: 2/7/23
Children, students, beggars, young poets: Alla Gorbunova's heroes and heroines live their lives intensely, experiencing the longing, joy, anticipation, and heartbreak of youth in 1990s Saint Petersburg. But Gorbunova's interconnected episodes don't limit themselves to the realm of the everyday, as they move from harsh, material realitis to delirious dark fantasies. Characters escape, decline, self-destruct, and transform. In vivid prose she conjures a fragile and haunted society, and renders it with frank and uncompromising tenderness. A stunning work of fiction, It's The End of the World, My Love is a compassionate, terrifying, and rewarding book from an undeniable literary voice.
Alla Gorbunova has published five books of poetry and received the Andrei Bely Prize for her 2019 collection Inside Starfall. Her first collection of short prose, Ings & Oughts, was published in 2017 by the Saint Petersburg publishing house Limbus Press. Her books have been translated into more than 10 languages. Elina Alter is a writer and translator living in New York. She is an oral history fellow at the Yiddish Book Center and the editor of Circumference, a journal of translation and international culture.
"Stunningly diverse and at the same time impeccably holistic, nakedly sincere and bizarrely inventive, naive and wise, frightening and comfortable - Alla Gorbunova's book seems to deliberately elude any unambiguous epithets, or rather, contains them all, while remaining something immeasurable large and simply different. And it is precisely this fundamental indeterminacy, this exciting ambiguity that definitely allows us to call It's the End of the World, My Love one of the main - if not the main - book of this year." —Galina Yuzefovich, Meduza
“It can be assumed that this is a book about the author's childhood and adolescence in the 1990s. Or maybe it’s a fictional childhood, or any human, it doesn’t matter. One way or another - this is a book of amazing power, frank and somewhere even cruel, full of the most crystal tenderness. Teenage neuroses and everyday post-Soviet absurdity merge here with ancient fairy-tale archetypes and dark forest witchcraft - in order to reach the final to the dazzling light of the eternal child's Motherland, where all is love and joy, and everything is always for the first time. " —Yuri Saprykin