The Soul of a Patriot

Trade Paper – $18.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-1193-6

Cloth Text – $69.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1203-2
Publication Date
October 1994
Page Count
194 pages
Trim Size
4 3/4 x 8

The Soul of a Patriot

Evgeny Popov, translated from the Russian by Robert Porter

One of the liveliest novels to come out of Russia in recent years, The Soul of a Patriot is, on the surface, a series of amusing letters written at the death of Leonid Brezhnev. The fictional Evgeny Popov's account of his family history becomes a rambunctious portrayal of the lives of ordinary Russians from the revolution to Brezhnev's death. As Popov pokes fun at every aspect of Russian culture and tradition, layer upon layer of satire turn convention inside out.

Freely parodying conformist Russian writing, this novel takes its lead as much from Sterne and Diderot as from the brilliant Russian satirist Mikhail Zosh­chenko. In the offhand witticisms and jaunty humor speaks the spirit that sur­vived the "era of stagnation" of Soviet literature.

About the Author

Evgeny Popov was born in 1946 in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. Trained as a geologist, he made his literary debut in 1976 with the publication of two short stories. In 1979 he was expelled from the Soviet Writers' Union after being allowed to join only a few months earlier. His short stories have been widely published in the West but, until recently, unavailable in Russia.


"In contrast to the doom and gloom that overburdens much Russian fiction produced by the so-called 'lost generation,' The Soul of a Patriot reverberates with laughter." —Independent

"A satirical masterpiece." —Berliner Zeitung

"Succeeds brilliantly in expressing the patriot's passion." —Guardian

"The rapid-fire satire and scorn of this, [Popov's] first novel to be translated into English, must have been sheer caustic to the stodgy Brezhnev regime." —Observer

"A brisk and often gritty work . . . Popov offers a wry and often amusing look at a moment in history . . ." —World Literature Today