Far from Moscow and St Petersburg, there lies another Russia. Overlooked by the new urban elites and almost unknown to the West, in the great provincial hinterlands of the Volga River and Siberia, Russians struggle to reconcile their old traditions with a new and unfamiliar world. Returning again and again, for over a decade, to the deep heartland of this rapidly-evolving country, Susan Richards has encountered extraordinary people and forged lasting friendships. Through their unforgettable stories and her own experiences she reveals how in Russia the past and the present cannot be separated. Illuminating a forgotten people and sweeping away traditional assumptions, "Lost and Found in Russia" is a compelling and essential portrait - poignant, yet full of hope for a new future.
Susan Richards is the author of Epics of Everyday Life, which won the P.E.N. Time-Life Award for Non-Fiction and the Yorkshire Post Best First Work Award in 1990. She edits openDemocracy Russia, part of openDemocracy, the website about global affairs which she co-founded.
A work of great thoughtfulness and enterprise, it sheds a uniquely intimate light behind the facade of the new Russia.
– Colin Thubron
A uniquely personal chronicle, and a testament to friendship. Susan Richards's political fact-finding is set ablaze by her intimacy with the discomforts and dangers of life in these remote regions, where the magic of the natural world challenges urban degradation, and where physical deprivation coexists with a richness of belief-systems as strange as the mountains of the moon.
– Victoria Glendinning
Susan Richards has long been one of the very best writers on Russia. Her new book is a remarkable blend of travel and reflection, as she introduces us to the vivid gallery of people she meets in the provinces. The result is a brilliant, poignant evocation of a society in transition.
– Robert Service
Once again, Susan Richards gives a rare and wonderful evocation of ordinary lives in Russia. People fall in love, fall ill, make money, lose money; some are nobly defeated, some shamelessly successful. Each one tells us more about the lethal tides of recent Russian history than years of newspaper reports.
– Philip Marsden
Russia exerts a peculiar pull for English travellers...Susan Richards’s version shines because she knows her subjects very well. These are stories of friendships across the miles, not just brief encounters plundered for material...This traveller’s tale, with all the absorption and detail of the genre, is also the story of an entire country.
– Anne McElvoy, Evening Standard
Susan Richards has followed a handful of young Russians with love, hope, and increasingly urgent concern for the better part of two decades – a chaotic era she nails with the deft circuitousness and exactitude of a Robert Altman movie in Lost and Found in Russia. Richards’ real genius is how she slips 'through a crack in the wardrobe' to Russia’s far reaches...It’s travel as jaw-dropping performance.
– Ben Dickinson, Elle
Lost and Found in Russia is intense reading...bursting with good material...For a rich portrait of the new Russia, grab this off the shelf and skip all those biographies of Vladimir Putin.
– Thomas de Waal, Sunday Times
[W]onderful...Lost and Found in Russia is beautifully written, with arresting images on almost every page... It is a travelogue as rich and compelling as a novel.
– Lesley Chamberlain, Independent
[F]ascinating...You should buy the book to find out how [the] story ended, as well as what happened when Richards hopped on a cruise down the Volga organised by a mafia boss she had never met.. there is a human optimism that shines out of these hard lives and this loving account of them – an optimism that defies the rational. But then if there is one thing you learn from this book, it is that we must all live beyond the rational.
– Angus MacQueen, The Guardian
[M]oving, sometimes perplexing, even distressing...Susan Richards combines fluency in Russian with great tact, curiosity and a capacity for friendship which overcomes the barriers that defeat most foreign attempts to chronicle post-Soviet Russia...her book, being a bottom-to-top account, is perhaps equally important [as Anna Politkovskaya’s Putin's Russia]...as admirable as it is honest.
– Donald Rayfield, Literary Review
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co LtdPaperback
Publication Date: 18 Dec 2010
Number of Pages: 320