Veteran journalist Vitali Vitaliev discusses his new fantasy novel 'Granny Yaga', and his life and work.
Vitali Vitaliev's fantasy novel 'Granny Yaga' is published in March 2014 by Thames River Press and is the first in a planned triology.
Vitali describes 'Granny Yaga' as the first 'multicultural' fantasy novel-cum-family drama for children and adults. The plot is based around the interaction of East European and British/Celtic folklore characters.
'Granny Yaga' follows the switchback adventures of a boy called Danya (Danny), born in Eastern Europe, but now living in north London where the local she-dragons are notorious fighters, and any alert passer-by can spot Granny herself flying low over the British Museum. Danny becomes Granny’s aide-de-camp in a life-or-death duel with the demon Koshchei, fought out on the London underground, in disused stations, boarded-up houses and the enchanted skies over Crouch End, with back-up from the relatively orthodox magic of Yesterdayland (huts on chicken legs, talking cats, self-catering tablecloths) and the realpolitik of its neighbouring Soviet satellite, a land of cruel edicts and capricious tsars where the workers are permanently drunk, and the loo seats belonging to each family in a communal flat hang side by side on the wall ‘like luckless horseshoes’. A gripping read for all ages from Danny’s to Granny’s - British journalist and biographer, Hilary Spurling.
Vitali will read extracts from the novel.
Vitali Vitaliev (born in Kharkov, Ukraine in 1954) came to prominence as an award-winning investigative journalist for Ogonyok, Literaturnaia Gazeta and satirical magazine Krokodil with groundbreaking work on organised crime and neo-fascism. After emigrating from the Soviet Union in 1990. Vitali established a succesful and extensive career in Australia and UK in print and broadcast media. He has written over a dozen books, including autobiographical works such as 'Life As A Literary Device' (2009) and 'Dreams on Hitler's Couch' (1997).