Alisa Ganieva, born in 1985, grew up in Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan, and currently lives in Moscow. Her literary debut, the novella Salaam, Dalgat!, published under a male pseudonym, provoked contradictory reactions in Russia: astonishment, especially among young Russians, at this unknown part of their country; and anger among radical Islamists at this negative portrayal of their homeland by one of their own. Salaam, Dalgat! won the prestigious Debut Prize in 2009, and Ganieva revealed her true identity only at the award ceremony. Ganieva works as a journalist and literary critic. The Mountain and the Wall is her first novel, shortlisted for all three of Russia’s major literary awards, and has already been translated into several languages.
Now Available from Deep Vellum Publishing
This remarkable debut novel by a unique young Russian voice portrays the influence of political intolerance and religious violence in the lives of people forced to choose between evils. The Mountain and the Wall focuses on Shamil, a young local reporter in Makhachkala, and his reactions, or lack thereof, to rumors that the Russian government is building a wall to cut off the Muslim provinces of the Caucasus from the rest of Russia. As unrest spreads and the tension builds, Shamil’s life is turned upside down, and he can no longer afford to ignore the violence surrounding him. With a fine sense for mounting catastrophe, Ganieva tells the story of the decline of a society torn apart by its inherent extreme