Y.T.

A creepy, haunting novel of conspiracy in the tradition of William Gibson, Y.T. follows a group of Ukrainian students who become obsessed with a strategy game that catches the eye of the KGB—who do not like what they find. Leaping between the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of Vladimir Putin, Y.T. is a troubling, all too timely vision of authoritarianism and paranoia.

ALEXEI NIKITIN was born in Kiev, Ukraine, USSR, in 1967. He studied physics at Kiev University and spent time in the army after which he worked in the gas and nuclear industries–including devising an emergency system for suppressing dust contamination from the Chernobyl sarcophagus. He published his first story in 1990 and has since published a number of novels and novellas. In 2000 he won the Ukrainian Writers’ Union Korolenko Prize for the year’s best work of fiction in Russian. Y.T. is his first work to be translated into English.

“The mystery plot…comes to a sublime anticlimax…a gritty, jaded depiction of post-1989 Ukraine.” —Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal

”The story—at times hauntingly evocative…is held together by the narrator’s nuanced character.” —The New Yorker

Y.T. is gripping, sardonic and elegantly written.” —BBC.com

”Encapsulates a multitude of Ukraines…Y.T. questions how much change a few decades, or even centuries, of war and revolution can ever really bring…Nikitin’s Kiev is a city on a hill littered with nostalgia, enjoying a tenuous, tedious peace.” —Times Literary Supplement

“[A] tense and melancholic novel of trust betrayed.” —Publishers Weekly

”[A] tightly-drawn novella with a novel’s breathing room for reflection and reminiscence…The real story is about a loss of life, how individuals are pawns of larger institutions, and how fate arbitrarily manipulates both.” —Ploughshares Blog

“The kind of novel in which conspiracies and mysteries overlap…and bizarre theories are…given the potential to roar into unexpected life.” —Tor.com

“Nikitin is an incisive social critic…Stands as an indictment against corruption and false promises, wherever they occur.” —Asymptote

A little Jonathan Swift, a little Will Rogers…Bitter and funny.” —Cleaver Magazine

“Y.T. …captures with nuance the psychology of someone who has lived through the shift from an authoritarian state to a democratic one… funny, sad, thought-provoking, and satirical…the novel takes on an almost Pynchonian chaos.” —Chicago Review of Books

”Hilarious elements of surrealism blunted by the banality of Soviet bureaucracy still lingering in 1980s Ukraine.” Hedgehog Review

“[A] wide-ranging look at life in Ukraine in recent decades.” —The Complete Review

 

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