Eastbound was developed from a radio commission, written whilst the author was travelling on the Trans-Siberian from Novossibirsk to Vladivostok, as part of the French Ministry of Culture's programme of French-Russian events in 2010. It was inspired by the author's observations on the ground. Published in France two years after her award-winning novel Birth of a Bridge (2010), this novella maps the fast-paced story of two fugitives on the Trans-Siberian railway, where a desperate Russian conscript hopes a chance encounter with a French woman will offer him an escape. Infused with a sense of surreal softness, and in prose evoking jazz music, the filthy, violent circumstances of Aliocha's journey are brought into sharp focus. Maylis de Kerangal traces an intersection between Russian classics and pressing contemporary political questions. Eastbound revives the Russian literary archetype of the rebel soldier and the reality of disempowerment the author witnessed at the Soldiers' Mothers o

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Les Fugitives
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