Rána

Oksana Vasyakina


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Wound. The prosaic debut by the poet Oksana Vasyakina is a documentary, autobiographic text which turns around the author’s journey with her mother’s ashes from the Volgograd region to her native Siberia.

She travels from Volgograd to Moscow, from Moscow to Novosibirsk and to Irkutsk, having to change planes and then to go fourteen hours by bus through the taiga to the small town of Ust-Ilimsk which seems to be the end of all roads. This long passage presents an axis or a centrepiece of the story of death, dying and saying good-bye hampered by absurd bureaucracy. The trip to the native place is also a way to understanding the protagonist’s own sexuality, femininity and a manner in which one can talk about these issues nowadays. In her reflections the author turns to a range of her predecessors, among others the writer and Gulag prisoner Anna Barkova. In parts the novelistic writing overlaps the essaystic just as the present overlaps the past. The focus on family memory relates the novel to the prosaic text written by the Russian poet and essayist Maria Stepanova Memory of Memory (published in Russian in 2017, in Czech translation in 2021) while the overlap of the intimate world and the reflections on literature and art relates it to the writings of the British author Olivia Laing.. This long passage presents an axis or a centrepiece of the story of death, dying and saying good-bye hampered by absurd bureaucracy. The trip to the native place is also a way to understanding the protagonist’s own sexuality, femininity and a manner in which one can talk about these issues nowadays. In her reflections the author turns to a range of her predecessors, among others the writer and Gulag prisoner Anna Barkova. In parts the novelistic writing overlaps the essaystic just as the present overlaps the past. The focus on family memory relates the novel to the prosaic text written by the Russian poet and essayist Maria Stepanova Memory of Memory (published in Russian in 2017, in Czech translation in 2021) while the overlap of the intimate world and the reflections on literature and art relates it to the writings of the British author Olivia Laing.

Oksana Vasyakina won the NOS literary award for her Wound in 2021.

The poet and prosaist Polina Barskova in her foreword to Wound said that it is a bold and intensely human writing on the current state of language of love and death. Moreover, she said that some of us badly need writing like this. It seems that at the time of Russian war against Ukraine these words hold true even more than at the moment when they were written.

The writer Anna Kozlova said about the novel: „The journey to Siberia with Mother’s ashes turns into a journey to the end of the dark Russian night about which Louis-Ferdinand Céline never even dreamed. This night is full of people. Death and life, the past and the present, Mother and Daughter are separated by an ice crust through which both try to see. What else can break through this ice but literature which is the only thing that can cure us? When we remember, spell out and write down everything, only then we can see the dawn.“


Regular price of the paperback: 348 CZK. Available at our e-shop with 35 % discount for 229 CZK.

E-book available for 238 CZK via this LINK.


Author:Oksana Vasyakina
Original title:Рана
Number of pages:248
Year of publication:2023
Issue number:1
Publication number:26
Translator:Alena Machoninová
ISBN:978-80-88411-20-8
Binding:paperback
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