Author(s): Emmanuel Carrere
A thrilling page-turner that also happens to be the biography of one of Russia's most controversial figuresThis is how Emmanuel Carrere, the magnetic journalist, novelist, filmmaker, and chameleon, describes his subject: "Limonov is not a fictional character. There. I know him. He has been a young punk in Ukraine, the idol of the Soviet underground; a bum, then a multimillionaire's butler in Manhattan; a fashionable writer in Paris; a lost soldier in the Balkans; and now, in the fantastic shambles of postcommunism, the elderly but charismatic leader of a party of young desperadoes. He sees himself as a hero; you might call him a scumbag: I suspend my judgment on the matter. It's a dangerous life, an ambiguous life: a real adventure novel. It is also, I believe, a life that says something. Not just about him, Limonov, not just about Russia, but about all our history since the end of the Second World War."So Eduard Limonov isn't fictional--but he might as well be. This pseudobiography isn't a novel, but it reads like one: from Limonov's grim childhood to his desperate, comical, ultimately successful attempts to gain the respect of Russia's literary intellectual elite; to his immigration to New York, then to Paris; to his return to the motherland. "Limonov "could be read as a charming picaresque. But it could also be read as a troubling counternarrative of the second half of the twentieth century, one that reveals a violence, an anarchy, a brutality, that the stories we tell ourselves about progress tend to conceal.
Emmanuel Carrere, born in Paris in 1957, is a writer, scriptwriter, and film producer. He is the award-winning, internationally renowned author of "The Mustache," "Class""Trip," "The Adversary: A True Story of Monstrous""Deception "(a "New York Times "Notable Book), "My""Life as a Russian Novel," and "Lives Other Than""My Own," which was awarded the Globe de Cristal for Best Novel in 2010 and the Prix des lecteurs de "L'Express," the Prix Marie Claire du roman d'emotion, and the Prix Cresus in 2009. For "Limonov," Carrere received the Prix Renaudot and the Prix des prix in 2011 and the Europese Literatuurprijs in 2013. He lives in Paris.John Lambert grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia, and studied philosophy in Paris before moving to Berlin, where he now lives with his wife and two children. In addition to Emmanuel Carrere's "Limonov," he has translated "Monsieur," "Reticence," and "Self-Portrait Abroad "by Jean- Philippe Toussaint.