These passionate, haunting, mysterious stories made a remarkable impact when they were published in Moscow. Known only through a handful of stories published in literary journals, Dmitry Bakin suddenly found himself hailed as one of the most striking and original young writers to emerge since perestroika and the collapse of the Soviet Union. As if Kafka or Gabriel Garcia Marquez were writing from the heartlands – or badlands – of the Russian provinces, Bakin’s tales are gripping, elemental dramas of restlessness and anguish. Nothing is stable in Bakin’s fictional universe, least of all reality, and everyone is searching, whether for safety, certainty, freedom or revenge. Survivors, obsessives, eccentrics, mystics, they are all prepared – or condemned – to sacrifice everything if they have to. Unsettling, extraordinarily imaginative and ambitious, this collection offers compelling evidence of a unique and burgeoning literary talent.