the “Aksenov-fest” is held in Kazan, culminating in the awarding of the
International Literary Prize “Star Ticket”. We laid this tradition even when
our countryman Vasily Aksenov was with us. He always advocated the support of
young authors. The tradition did not stop with his departure! This year we
again celebrated the best writers and poets. Guzel Yakhina became the winner in
the nomination “Prose” with the novel “Zuleikha opens her eyes”.
Ticket” was created precisely for the sake of supporting such books. This is a
very sincere story about how residents of Tatar villages survived the 30-s of
the last century. In a difficult time, when the whole country suddenly divided
in “ours” and “theirs”, the good-natured Zuleiha, the main character, is
declared a public enemy, repressed and exiled to Siberia. And a simple peasant
woman, who never left her village in 100 houses before, is learning to survive
in another world.
read a book, you immediately feel how close this story is to the author. She
was inspired by the fate of her grandmother to write the novel. And the
description of Kazan, through which lays the path of the “dekulakized” peasants,
sounds like a declaration of love to the native city. The book is somewhat
heavy, it tears the soul, opens reader’s eyes to the class struggle, labor
camps, human nature, but we need such books! My opinion is that this book is a
breakthrough, definitely from the category of “must read”!