Russia around 1500. Great plagues announce the end of the world, while cross-border discoveries offer Europe unthoughty prospects.
A herbalist experiences his own powerlessness and starts wandering. He becomes a different man, several times even: as a holy fool, pilgrim, monk and finally hermit, he feels his healing powers grow. His name changes along with it. Gradually memories, adventures and visions, past, present and future begin to merge. Language and time become fluid. Until the circle opens.
In this ‘ahistoric novel’, language and history scholar Yevgeny Vodolazkin (Kiev, 1964) plays a literary game full of humour and with a touch of magic.
Published with the support of the Institute for Literary Translation, Russia