Eugene Vodolazkin was born in Kiev and has worked in the department of Old Russian Literature at Pushkin House since 1990. He is an expert in medieval Russian history and folklore. Solovyov and Larionov is his debut novel. Laurus (Oneworld, 2015), his second novel but the first to be translated into English, won the National Big Book Award and the Leo Tolstoy Yasnaya Polyana Award and has been translated into eighteen languages. His third novel, The Aviator (Oneworld, 2018), was shortlisted for the Russian Booker Prize and the National Big Book Award. He lives in St Petersburg.
Lisa C. Hayden's translations from the Russian include Eugene Vodolazkin's Laurus, which won the Read Russia Award in 2016 and was also shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize along with her translation of Vadim Levental's Masha Regina. Her blog, Lizok's Bookshelf, examines contemporary Russian fiction. She lives in Maine, USA.
'[A] wry and whimsically humorous historical detective story.'* Times Literary Supplement *
'Absorbing, darkly witty, history-soaked pages for literary and historical fiction fans.'* Library Journal: Reading Around The World: 12 Top Spring Titles for the Library Market *
'Vodolazkin has produced a romanticized hero's quest that affirms the "indivisibility and harmony" of history and personal fate. In the face of overwhelming death tolls, he insists on making space for mythology.'* Wall Street Journal *
'Simply cannot be ignored... A smart and often humorous account of contemporary Russian life that reminded me several times of his fellow citizen Svetlana Alexievich's nonfiction.'* LitHub *
'There is sprightly, funny satire here and, beneath it, a surprising vein of poignancy.'* Kirkus *
'An ambitious first novel. It is to Vodolazkin's credit that he pulls it off, creating a substantial, beguiling work that engages the reader on several levels, encompassing a detective story, historical events and even a little romance.'* The Herald, Scotland *
'More than a beautifully written coming-of-age story...one of the finest novels I have read in years.'* World Literature Today *
'Third-person narration, circular structure, and archetypal characters lend this beautifully written literary mystery the feel of a modern fable. [We] recommend Vodolazkin's slowly unfolding story to readers who prefer detailed research, artfully layered descriptions, and character epiphanies to thrills.'* Booklist *
'A very unique blend of literary genres... I became captivated by this Russian tale with all of its stories within a story. This is a true Russian novel.'* Marjorie's World of Books *
'Solovyov's and Larionov's careers are interwoven so deftly that the novel can be enjoyed as part academic satire, part historical romp... Solovyov and Larionov contains some hilarious character sketches and set pieces, from academic jousting for precedence to conflicts over property in a communal apartment.'* L.A. Review of Books *
'Award-winning author Vodolazkin seamlessly weaves together the lives of his two heroes... [but] this coming-of-age story offers the reader a much richer experience than mere biography.'* Historical Novel Society *
'I couldn't put it down.'* A Bookish Type blog *
'Vodolazkin is one of the most interesting contemporary writers.'* Russia Beyond, '5 great Russian books for your summer reading list' *
'I found Solovyov and Larionov to be just as good a book as The Aviator in its beautiful writing, its thought-provoking narrative and its wonderfully atmospheric sense of place and time. I can see that I'm going to be pondering on it for quite some time to come...'* Kaggsy's Bookish Ramblings *