Death, depression, dementia, violence, hatred, loneliness, child abuse, bleak terrains, evil regimes, hopeless futures – many new novels, even by young writers, focus on the dark side. Is this the authors’ view or experience of life, or is it a way of highlighting increasingly prevalent wrongs which need to be righted. Do dystopian novels work by validating the alienation and unhappiness that the reader may already be feeling? Or are they cautionary tales, which by showing the worst that can happen when people go wrong, conversely cause the reader to prize virtue and compassion, and to recognise, and thereby resist, agendas that would wreak evil in this world?
Private: Andrei Kurkov
Andrei is a Ukrainian novelist who writes in Russian and Ukrainian. He is the author of over 20 novels and 10 books for children. His work has been translated into 37 languages.