Author

Sana Valiulina

Sana Valiulina (b. 1964) grew up in Tallinn, Estonia. After studying Norwegian Language and Literature in Moscow, she emigrated to the Netherlands. She made her debut in 2000 with the semi-autobiographical and much discussed novel, Het kruis (The Cross), about life in a Moscow student flat. This was followed in 2002 by the novella collection Vanuit nergens met liefde (‘From Nowhere With Love’). Her breakthrough came in 2006 with the epic Didar and Faruk, which is based upon her parents’s life during Stalin’s reign of terror. The novel was nominated for the Libris Literature Prize. In 2010 she published Honderd jaar gezelligheid (‘A Hundred Years of Conviviality’), followed in 2014 by Kinderen van Brezjnev (Brezhnev’s Children).

Didar and Faruk

Didar and Faruk

(J.M. Meulenhoff, 2006, 431 pages)

An epic love story in the narrative tradition of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, but this time with Stalinist Russia as the vivid backdrop: Didar en Faroek, by the Tatar Sana Valiulina, who lives in the Netherlands and writes in Dutch, is a book of international allure. Never before has this period been so convincingly and majestically articulated in a novel.

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A Hundred Years of Conviviality

A Hundred Years of Conviviality

(Prometheus, 2010, 287 pages)

After her epic novel, Didar and Faruk – nominated for the Libris Literature Prize 2007 – set in Stalinist Russia during the Second World War, the Estonian-Tatar author, Sana Valiulina, meticulously dismembers Dutch society which, in her opinion, is bursting at the seams in these overheated times. Roland Warmer, a scion of a prosperous family and recipient of an excellent education, decides to seek significance and salvation in this prosaic society. The grotesque quest for the ‘truth’ begins literally at the bottom. On the principle that ‘per merdam ad astra’ (from faeces to the stars), Roland applies for a job with the municipal cleaning department in the most squalid and…

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