Vladimir Sorokin was born in a small town outside of Moscow in 1955. He trained as an engineer at the Moscow Institute of Oil and Gas, but turned to art and writing, becoming a major presence in the Moscow underground of the 1980s. His work was banned in the Soviet Union, and his first novel, The Queue, was published by the famed émigré dissident Andrei Sinyavsky in France in 1983. In 1992, Sorokin’s Collected Stories was nominated for the Russian Booker Prize; in 1999, the publication of the controversial novel Blue Lard, which included a sex scene between clones of Stalin and Khrushchev, led to public demonstrations against the book and to demands that Sorokin be prosecuted as a pornographer; in 2001, he received the Andrei Biely Award for outstanding contributions to Russian literature. Sorokin is also the author of the screenplays for the movies Moscow, The Kopeck, and 4, and of the libretto for Leonid Desyatnikov’s Rosenthal’s Children, the first new opera to be commissioned by the Bolshoi Theater since the 1970s. He has written numerous plays and short stories, and his work has been translated throughout the world. Among his most recent books are Sugar Kremlin and Day of the Oprichnik. He lives in Moscow.
“Out of whose womb came the ice? And the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?” Sorokin’s Ice Trilogy, never before translated into English in its entirety, attempts to answer this biblical question, giving us an alternate history of the 20th century, in which a 1908 meteor passing by the Tunguska River in Siberia in fact gave rise to a race of superbeings, who will use any means necessary to reunite its 23,000 members.
An average day in the Soviet Union, hundreds of people are lined up for … nobody knows quite what, but the rumors are flying. Sorokin’s most approachable novel is told in snatches of dialogue that are in turn poignant and uproarious.