Yuri Buida grew up in the small town of Znamensk in the Kaliningrad region. This much-disputed territory in former East Prussia was occupied by Soviet troops in 1945; the German inhabitants were deported en masse. The Russians among whom Buida was born were effectively immigrants, and a sense of the transitory courses right through his cycle of short stories. Deprived of a sense of the past, the motley Russian dwellers of this 'settlement-town' - war cripples, bereaved wives, madmen and magicians - inhabit a dislocated world. Death is all around them, yet Buida animates their lives with unforgettable vitality and humour, and with a peculiarly Russian sense of the miraculous. His own prose style, by turns baroque, magic realist and savagely terse, is a formidable match for the subject. He fills his intense short stories, often no longer than half a dozen pages, with a plot around which most writers would be happy to construct entire novels. The Prussian Bride is a treasure-house of myth and narrative exuberance, with stories swing unpredictably between outrageous invention and often tragic reality. It is one of the most exciting discoveries of post-Soviet literature and a worthy winner of the prestigious Apollon Grigoriev award in Russia.
Yuri Buida is one of the foremost Contemporary Russian writers and has been published prolifically and to much acclaim in the last ten years in Moscow. He was born in Kaliningrad in 1954 and is of mixed Russian, Polish, Belorussian and Ukranian descent. The question of identity runs through his fiction which tends towards mythmaking and the surreal. His novel The Zero Train, published in English by Dedalus in 2001, was shortlisted for the Russian Booker Prize in 1993.