Set in post-Gorbachev Moscow, A Ring in a Case is the first vel to explore the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of Russia after perestroika. Helium Revolverovich Serious, a specialist in scientific atheism, begins to doubt his lack of belief in God when he becomes plagued by demons. His meditations reflect the philosophical questions posed throughout Russian literature and illuminate the collapse of Russian society.
Yuz Aleshkovsky was born in Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, in 1929. He became a writer only after serving in the armed froces and spending several years in a labor camp. His first books were for children, and later he wrote film and televisino scripts. He was best known in Russia, however, for his irreverent samizdat song lyrics, and his reptuation in the West rests on such equally impudent novels as Kangaroo (1986) and The Hand (1989). Aleshkovsky emigrated from the U.S.S.R. in 1979 and lives with his family in Connecticut. Jane Ann Miller is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Russian at Dartmouth College. She has translated works by Joseph Brodsky, Vladislav Khodasevich, and Lyudmilla Petrushevskaya and has published widely on Russian literature.