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Alindarka’s Children

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A wolf with two children nestled in its stomach
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Alindarka’s Children (Dzieci Alindarkiis, 2014) is a contemporary novel about a brother and a sister interned in a camp. There, camp leaders make children forget their own language and speak the language of the colonizer. To achieve this, leaders use drugs as well as surgery on the larynx to cure the ‘illness’ of using the Belarusian language. When Alicia and Avi manage to escape, camp leaders pursue them. Now, the children have to survive for themselves in this adventure, which bears a likeness to an adult, literary Hansel and Gretel. The dialogue translates well to the guttural differences between English Received Pronunciation and Scots. Jim Dingley translated the Russian and Belarusian into English and Petra Reid, author of MacSonnetries, translated Belarusian parts into Scots.

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'Bacharevic’s rich, provocative novel offers a kaleidoscopic picture of language as fairy-tale forest, as Gulag, as monument, as tomb, as everlasting life.'

– New York Times

‘Kafkaesque with elements of cyberpunk.’

– New Eastern Europe

‘You can take this book on many levels, from the philosophical and psychological analysis of what it does to a nation and a people to remove, control and suppress its mother tongue, to an exciting tale of two runaway children in a forest trying to survive on blueberries and avoid the threatening adults along their way.’

- The Scotsman

‘The seamless transition between Dingley’s Lingo and Reid’s Leid means the tale moves invitingly along, giving here and there a window into Belarus’s turbulent modern history.’

- Hamish MacDonald, on BBC Radio Scotland

‘What we get is a book that is both a translation and a collage - an independent, multilingual literary work.
It is an ingenious response to the novel’s polyphony, and a tribute to the Scottish language that echoes the tribute Bacharevič pays to the Belarusian tongue’

- New York Review of Books

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Alhierd Bacharevič


about the author
Alhierd Bacharevič was born in Minsk in 1975. He is an author of several novels and collections of short stories and essays. His 900-page novel Dogs of Europe received received the Book of the Year prize, the independent Reader’s Prize and the second Jerzy Gedroyc Prize in Belarus.
about the artist
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