Vladimir Lorchenkov tells the story of a group of villagers and their tragicomic efforts, against all odds and at any cost, to emigrate from Moldova, Europe's most impoverished nation, to Italy for work. In this uproarious tale, an Orthodox priest is deserted by his wife for an art-dealing atheist; a mechanic redesigns his tractor for travel by air and sea; thousands of villagers take to the road on a modern-day religious crusade to make it to the promised land of Italy; meanwhile, politicians remain politicians. Outstanding ...darkly hilarious. -- The Wall Street Journal A simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking tale. -- Publishers Weekly A touching and hilarious chronicle about the age-old European yearning for one more chance. A chance that may never come ... -- Gary Shteyngart Firmly in the great tradition of East European black humour and stands comparison with Hasek, Hrabal and Voivich and will have you laughing -- unless, of course, you are a sensitive soul. -- The Modern Novel The Good Life Elsewhere revels in absurdity, right down to the over-the-top satisfying end ...Good -- though occasionally also very dark -- absurdist fun, by a talented writer. -- The Complete Review Original, both serious and comic, and, at times, tragic. -- Profile Magazine Vladimir Lorchenkov is a highly talented imposter -- painting a colorful, bright, and crazy life in a benighted post-Soviet corner of the world. -- Vedomosti This is a bleeding, wild work, grotesque in every twist of its plot and in every character, written brightly, bitterly, humorously, and -- paradoxically, as we're dealing with the grotesque -- honestly. -- Krupa.ru Is it possible for lovely Italy to take the place of both hell and paradise, as well as one's most cherished dream? Vladimir Lorchenkov explores this possibility -- in vivid colors, with a pamphleteer's spite, and a good-humored smile. -- Literaturnaya Gazeta
Vladimir Lorchenkov, writer and journalist, was born in Chisinau, Moldova, the son of a Soviet army officer, in 1979. In his childhood he traveled across the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, including Transbaikal, the Arctic, Byelorussia, Ukraine, Hungary, Mongolia. When his family returned to Moldova, he studied journalism and for ten years was in charge of crime coverage at a local newspaper. Lorchenkov is a laureate of the 2003 Debut Prize, one of Russia's highest honors given to young writers, the Russia Prize in 2008, and was short-listed for the National Bestseller Prize in 2012. Lorchenkov has published a dozen books, and his work has been translated into German, Italian, Norwegian, Finnish, Serbo-Croatian and Finnish. He is married with two children, and still lives in his hometown. Ross Ufberg: Ross Ufberg is a translator, writer, and a PhD Candidate at Columbia University in the Slavic Department. His work has appeared in various magazines and newspapers. His translation of the autobiography of Marek Hlasko, Beautiful Twentysomethings, was published in 2013.