Winner of the Solzhenitsyn Prize 2012 and the Russian Booker Prize 2002
Oleg Pavlov is one of the most highly-regarded Russian writers today. He has won the Russian Booker Prize (2002) and Solzhenitsyn Prize (2012) among many other awards. Born in Moscow in 1970, Pavlov spent his military service as a prison guard in Kazakhstan. Many of the incidents portrayed in his fiction were inspired by his experiences there: he recalls how he found himself reading about Karabas – the very camp he had worked at – in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago. He then became Solzhenitsyn’s secretary and was inspired to continue the great writer’s work. Pavlov’s writing is firmly in the tradition of great Russian novelists such as Dostoyevsky and Solzhenitsyn.
He was only 24 years old when his first novel, Captain of the Steppe, was published, receiving praise not only from critics but from the jury of the Russian Booker Prize, which shortlisted the novel for the 1995 award. Pavlov went on to win the Prize in 2002 with his next book, the second novel in what would become the trilogy Tales from the Last Days.
Captain of the Steppe
- Find out more about the novel on the Captain of the Steppe page.
- Captain of the Steppe was shortlisted for the Russian Booker Prize 2012 and the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger 2012.
- Oleg Pavlov will visit the UK in April 2013. Details will be posted here and in our April newsletter.
- And Other Stories found Oleg Pavlov via discussion in our 2011 Russian Reading Group.
- If you had subscribed to And Other Stories before this book’s publication, you would have received one of the first copies of the book, in which you are thanked by name – as well as up to 5 other And Other Stories titles per year. Find out about subscribing here.
Praise for Captain of the Steppe
- ‘Pavlov imbues his world with a very particular flavour: the mixture of tragedy, absurdity and black comedy that runs in the veins of Russian literature as far back as the work of Nikolai Gogol … Pavlov fashions a disquieting and comic elegy.’ Marcel Theroux
- ‘His tales delve into the world of soldiers sent to the bleakest regions of central Asia, where their hopelessness ends up matching that of their prisoners, whose absurd routine, hunger and boredom they share. This is Berg’s Wozzek set in Buzzati’s Tartar Steppe.’ Jacque Franck, lalibre.be
- ‘An extraordinary portraitist, with a nose for trenchant, black humour, Oleg Pavlov delves into the shadowy outer edges of existence.’ France Culture
- ‘Poetry, sensuality, humour, metaphoric genius’ Philippe Delaroche, L’Express Culture avec Lire
- ‘Oleg Pavlov is one of the best contemporary Russian authors … There are moments of great humanity in this book, for Pavlov gives a voice to every human being, even the most pathetic. When nothing of value remains, we still have language.’ Nils C. Ahl, Art Press