Vita Nostra

Vita Nostra

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The definitive English language translation of the internationally bestselling Russian novel - a brilliant dark fantasy combining psychological suspense, enchantment, and terror that makes us consider human existence in a fresh and provocative way.

'A book that has the potential to become a modern classic.' - Lev Grossman, bestselling author of The Magicians

Our life is brief . . .

Sasha Samokhina has just met Farit Kozhenikov and her life will never be the same again.

Whilst on holiday, Sasha is asked by the mysterious Farit to undertake a strange task for him. Reluctantly, she obliges, and is rewarded with a shining golden coin. The more tasks she performs, the more coins Sasha receives until Farit instructs her - against the wishes of her family - to travel to a remote village and use her gold to gain entrance to the Institute of Special Technologies.

Sasha quickly discovers this is no ordinary school. The books are impossible to read, the lessons obscure to the point of maddening, and the knowledge itself refuses to be remembered. Despite this, Sasha undergoes changes that defy matter and time; with experiences that are nothing like what she could have dreamed of before... but which are suddenly all she could ever want.

But this learning comes at a cost. The school uses terror and coercion to keep students in line: should they transgress at all, their families pay a terrible price...

A complex blend of adventure, magic, science, and philosophy, expressed through a distinctly Russian voice, this astonishing story will transport the reader to a place far beyond imagining.
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Product details

  • HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Unabridged
  • Unabridged edition
  • 0008272883
  • 9780008272883

Review quote

'A dazzling display of Russian magical realism'
Daily Mail

'I first encountered VITA NOSTRA in 2009, and then, as now, I was stunned by what I read - not just by the story, which was a revelation to me in itself, but also by the vividness and fluency and power of Hersey's translation. VITA NOSTRA has become a powerful influence on my own writing. It's a book that has the potential to become a modern classic of its genre, and I couldn't be more excited to see it get the global audience in English it so richly deserves'
Lev Grossman, New York Times bestselling author of THE MAGICIANS
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About Marina Dyachenko

Ukranian co-authors of over seventy fantasy novels,
short fiction, plays and scripts. The recipient of eight
literary prizes and much critical acclaim in Russia,
Vita Nostra has been translated into several languages.
The Dyachenkos hail from Kiev and currently reside
in California. Vita Nostra is their first novel published
by HarperVoyager.

JULIA MEITOV HERSEY was born in Moscow
before moving to the United States in 1990 at the age
of 19. Currently, she is at work on translation of other
Russian to English projects. Julia originally began
her translation of Vita Nostra because she wanted her
non-Russian-speaking family to share her love for this
striking novel.
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