The Prussian Bride by Yury Buida

Writers and perhaps people in general have different relationships with places they grew up in. For some, villages, towns or cities of their childhood and youth are a mere backdrop to the unfolding of their lives.  For others growing up in a particular place is fundamental to how they see the world.

Yury Buida  is a  writer who was able to create a universe of his own to a great degree thanks to the uniqueness of a place where he spent his childhood and youth – Kaliningrad region.   After WWII  East Prussia was partitioned between Poland  and the Soviet Union. Indigenous German population either fled or was forced out and  the region was  quickly replaced by settlers from rural areas of  Russian and other Soviet republics.  The result was an odd, sometimes grotesque combination of a hulk of one culture inhabited by another.  Growing up in small town of Znamensk, originally  Whelau, a little town of  neat German houses under high-pitched  roofs  taken over  by uprooted people gave Yuri Buida a very rich source of characters and settings for his fiction.  Today in our Moscow studio we discuss a ‘novel in short stories’ called ‘The Prussian Bride’ with the author, Yuri Buida.  From Oxford we are joined by the award winning translator of ‘The Prussian Bride’ Oliver Ready.

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