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By Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

Translated by Marian Schwartz

From Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, New York Times  bestselling author and Russia’s greatest living absurdist, comes an elaborate family drama, social satire, and burlesque of twists, coincidences, and hijinks. 

Publication Date: April, 25th 2023

Paperback: 9781646052042

eBook: 9781646052301


Kidnapped is a madcap crime spree that caroms from crisis to crisis, through lands real and imagined. It tells the tale of Sergei Sertsov, not one but two boys from Moscow with more than just a name in common, and the women who go  to great lengths to protect them. The story unfurls in a whirlwind of deceit and double crossingbabies are switched at birth, documents forged, palms greased, identities assumed, deaths faked, and authorities duped. Across decades and continents, the narrative veers from a trade office in tropical Handia, to Russia as it plunges through perestroika and into post-Soviet free fall, to a mansion in opulent Montegasco at the start of the twenty-first century. With a dizzying array of characters and settings, Kidnapped is a hilarious saga of determined women triumphing over their many oppressors to save the people they love. 

Biographical Note

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya was born in 1938 in Moscow, where she still lives. She is the author of more than fifteen collections of prose, including the New York Times-bestseller There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales (2009), which won a World Fantasy Award and was one of New York Magazine’s Ten Best Books of the Year and one of NPR’s Five Best Works of Foreign Fiction, and There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories (2013). A singular force in modern Russian fiction, she is also a playwright whose work has been staged by leading theater companies all over the world. In 2002 she received Russia’s most prestigious prize, the Triumph, for lifetime achievement. Marian Schwartz is a prizewinning translator of Russian literature. She is the principal translator of the works of Nina Berberova, Mikhail Bulgakov, Ivan Goncharov, and others.


"The best novel of the year, in every page there’s more wit and talent than in the whole contemporary Russian prose, everyone forgive me. Written with much physiology, humor, the novel is at times scaring, always fascinating and precise from a playwright’s perspective." —Dmitry Bykov, the nationally-rewarded author of The Living Souls and The Evacuator

"Kidnapped is an inventive novel—a hymn to building a family on one’s own terms, whatever form that family takes." —Yelena Furman, Foreword Reviews 

"...there's plenty of cutting satire of corruption in late-and post-Soviet Russia. This irreverent and absurdist outing will keep readers guessing to the very end." Publisher's Weekly