The Gods of the Middle World

Galina Dolgaya, translated from the Russian by Robin Thomson

Published by Hertfordshire Press
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Galina Dolgaya’s prize-winning novel is set on the Central Asian steppe and juxtaposes the life of Sima, a present-day archaeology student, with a story of love, destiny and shaman ritual set three millennia ago.The first of Dolgaya’s works to be translated into English The Gods of the Middle World draws deeply on the mythology of southern Kazakhstan and ancient Tibet.

As Sima’s summer field work uncovers a mysteriously inscribed kurgan (burial mound), the two narratives begin to mirror one another, inviting the reader into the powerful imaginal realms of dream, spirit and symbolic meaning.

Dolgaya’s compelling narrative is supported by beautifully evocative descriptions of the wild steppe and its people’s lives, past and present. The fearsome tensions of passion, betrayal and revenge are ultimately resolved in a wonderfully dramatic and redemptive climax.

Robin Thomson’s translation from the Russian maintains a very authentic feel and elegantly negotiates the often multi-leveled dialogue.

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