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Translated by Jonathan Hunt
‘The only thing a worthy criminal takes from the cops is a beating, and even that he gives back, when the right moment comes.’
Siberian Education is the story of a tiny, tightly knit community of ‘honest’ and ‘dishonest’ criminals in Transnistria, a remote region between Moldovia and Ukraine. This is a place with a strict code of honour, a complex hierarchy, and a deep distrust of outsiders and especially police. Transgressions bring swift and severe retribution, and weapons are treated almost as religious icons.
Nicolai Lilin’s memoir is an account of a young boy growing up in a world that is strangely recognisable, yet unlike anything we have experienced. Controversial, brutally honest and sometimes disturbing, Siberian Education takes the reader to a place no writer had ever been.