By Mikhail Shishkin

Maidenhair consists of 3 major storylines: an interpreter hearing the tales of refugees, the letters he sends to his son, and the diaries of a Russian opera singer within the early 1900s. An speedy vintage of Russian literature, it was once a finalist for the easiest Translated e-book Award.

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Resolution: ***. I don’t comprehend her maiden identify. They killed her. query: Who killed your mother—when, and lower than what conditions? solution: Chechens. query: while? resolution: simply this summer time, in August. query: On what date? resolution: I don’t consider precisely. The 19th, i feel, or even the 20 th. I don’t take note. query: How did they kill her? solution: They shot her. query: identify your final position of place of abode sooner than your departure. resolution: ***. It’s a small village close to Shali. query: supply me the precise tackle: road, condo quantity. solution: there is not any handle there. There’s only one highway and our condo. It’s long gone. They burned it down. And there’s not anything left of the village, both. query: Do you've got family members in Russia? Brothers? Sisters? solution: I had a brother. Older. They killed him. query: Who killed your brother—when, and below what situations? resolution: Chechens. while. They have been killed jointly. query: Do you've different kinfolk in Russia? solution: There’s nobody else left. query: Do you might have relations in 3rd nations? resolution: No. query: In Switzerland? solution: No. query: what's your nationality? resolution: Russian. query: Confession? resolution: What? query: faith? solution: certain. query: Orthodox? resolution: sure. I simply didn’t comprehend. query: in brief describe the explanations why you're soliciting for asylum in Switzerland. solution: Chechens stored coming over and telling my brother to enter the mountains with them to struggle the Russians. in a different way they’d kill him. My mom concealed him. That day i used to be coming domestic and that i heard shouts in the course of the open window. I concealed within the trees through the shed and observed a Chechen in our room hitting my brother together with his rifle butt. there have been some of them there, and so they all had submachine weapons. I couldn’t see my brother. He was once mendacity at the flooring. Then my mom lunged at them with a knife. The kitchen knife we use to peel potatoes. considered one of them shoved her up opposed to the wall, positioned his AK to her head, and fired. Then they went out, poured a canister of gas over the home, and lit it. They stood round in a circle and watched it burn. My brother was once nonetheless alive and that i heard him screaming. i used to be afraid they’d see me and kill me, too. query: Don’t cease. let us know what occurred then. resolution: Then they left. and that i sat there until eventually darkish. I didn’t be aware of what to do or the place to head. Then I went to the Russian submit at the street to Shali. i presumed the warriors might support me one way or the other. yet they have been petrified of every person themselves and drove me away. i wished to give an explanation for to them what occurred, yet they fired within the air to make me leave. Then I spent the evening open air in a destroyed condominium. Then i began making my solution to Russia. And from there to right here. I don’t are looking to dwell there. query: have you ever pointed out all of the the explanation why you’re soliciting for asylum? solution: convinced. query: Describe your direction. What international locations did you go back and forth via and through what technique of delivery? solution: diverse ones. Commuter trains and normal ones. via Belarus, Poland, and Germany.

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