On June 3, 1943 at the Stone Bridge in Moscow a tragedy took place that shocked the political elite of that time and became the starting point of an investigation into other historical and political facts. Nina Umanskaya, the beautiful 14-year-old daughter of a Soviet diplomat, was murdered by her classmate and admirer, Volodya Shakhurin, son of a People's Commissar. After that the young man shot himself.
The Stone Bridge tells the story of Terekhov's decade-long investigation into the case of the 'young wolves', and reveals some of the secrets behind the Kremlin's private school, a direct line to the Communist Party elite. The search for truth of the Stone Bridge incident requires the reader’s patience: the historical authenticity of this work is supported by testimonies of witnesses trying to avoid an uncomfortable interrogation, supported by illustrations, documents and chronicles. The main purpose of this titanic work is to find the historical truth. But does it exist?
Terekhov’s 'fine satire' as it was noted by The Guardian was compared by The Moscow Times to that of Saltykov-Shchedrin and the individuality of his language to that of Platonov. His writing, they suggest, ‘is packed with forceful imagery and the slang of modern Russia... [and] a distinctive and individual intonation’.
Alexander Terekhov was born in June 1966 in the provincial town of Tula, just south of Moscow. After graduating in journalism from Moscow State University he was conscripted and served in the Soviet Union’s Internal Security Forces. After the army Terekhov worked as a reporter for the cultural sections of the journals Ogonek and Stolitsa, and then in various editorial positions. At the same time he began to win acclaim for his literary dissection of military life and his depiction of the chaos that perestroika had ushered in across provincial Russia.
Prizes and awards:
The Big Book Prize 2009