Nominated by:

Deichmanske Bibliotek, Oslo, Norway

Publisher of nominated edition:

Peirene Press, UK

The Dead Lake

Hamid Ismailov    

Translated from the Russian by Andrew Bromfield

2016 Longlist

A haunting Russian tale about the environmental legacy of the Cold War.

Yerzhan grows up in a remote part of Kazakhstan where the Soviets test atomic weapons. As a young boy he falls in love with the neighbour’s daughter and one evening, to impress her, he dives into a forbidden lake. The radioactive water changes Yerzhan. He will never grow into a man. While the girl he loves becomes a beautiful woman.

(from publisher)

About the Author

Born in 1954 in Kyrgyzstan, Hamid Ismailov moved to Uzbekistan as a young man. He writes in both Russian and Uzbek and his novels and poetry have been translated into many European languages, including German, French and Spanish. In 1994 he was forced to flee to the UK because of his “unacceptable democratic tendencies”. He now works for the BBC World Service. His First novel to be published in English, The Railway, appeared in 2006, followed by A Poet and Bin-Laden in 2012. His work is still banned in Uzebkistan today.

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