Richard Greeman has translated and written the introductions for five of Serge’s novels (including Unforgiving Years and Conquered City, both available as NYRB Classics). A veteran Socialist and co-founder of the Praxis Center and Victor Serge Library in Moscow, Russia (www.praxiscenter.ru), Greeman is author of Beware Of “Vegetarian” Sharks: Radical Rants And Internationalist Essays.
Perpetually fighting injustice, and seemingly always at odds with those in power, Victor Serge lived a life dedicated to revolution. Here the novelist tells his own story. Born to Russian exiles in Belgium, Serge took an active role in the Russian Revolution, though he was soon disenchanted with it and was expelled to France. From there Serge narrowly escaped the Nazis, ending up in the country that was to be his final refuge, Mexico.
Set in post-Russian-Revolutionary St. Petersburg, Conquered City is structured like a detective story in which the new regime, looking toward “the birth of a new kind of justice,” seeks out the spies, speculators, and traitors hidden among the exhausted mass of common people. “[Serge is] one of the most compelling of twentieth-century ethical and literary heroes.” —Susan Sontag
An unforgettable depiction of worlds in collapse, this first English translation of Victor Serge’s last novel is a monumental mural of World War II, taking readers from a paranoid pre-war Paris, to Leningrad under German siege, to a Berlin that is collapsing, and finally, with the war over, to the mountains of Mexico.