Dedalus News & Blog

Rehearsals, Schisms and Siberia: An Evening with Vladimir Sharov

Pushkin House, 5A Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2TA. Monday 9 April, 7:30-8.30 pm.

New Jerusalem Monastery, seventeenth-century Moscow. Patriarch Nikon has instructed an itinerant French dramatist to stage the New Testament and hasten the Second Coming. But this will be a strange form of theatre. The actors are untrained, illiterate Russian peasants, and nobody is allowed to play Christ…

A stunning reflection on art, religion and national identity, The Rehearsals is the seminal work in the unique oeuvre of Vladimir Sharov, now widely acknowledged as one of the outstanding Russian writers of the past half-century. To mark the first English translation of this novel, which was written in the late 1980s, Sharov will be joined by his translator Oliver Ready and the critic Anna Aslanyan for a discussion and reading.

A recent laureate of the Russian Booker Prize, Sharov is the author of eight novels, among them Before and During, which won the Read Russia Prize in Oliver Ready’s translation in 2015. Reviewing that book in the NYRB, Rachel Polonsky commented that Sharov’s prose is ‘disconcerting, almost hallucinatory. His writing is at times funny, at times so piercingly moving, so brimful of unassuaged sorrow, that it causes a double-take.’

Sharov himself has said of his apparently extravagant fiction: ‘I write the entirely real history of thoughts, inventions and beliefs. This is the country that existed. This is our own madness, our own absurd.’

Copies of The Rehearsals, which is published by Dedalus Books, will be available for purchase at a discounted rate.


Dedalus celebrates the centenary in 2018 of women getting the vote in the UK by a programme of women's fiction. In 1918, Parliament passed an act granting the vote to women over the age of 30 who were householders, the wives of householders, occupiers of property with an annual rent of £5, and graduates of British universities. About 8.4 million women gained the vote. It was a big step forward but It was not until the Equal Franchise Act of 1928 that women over 21 were able to vote and women finally achieved the same voting rights as men. This act increased the number of women eligible to vote to 15 million. Dedalus' aim is to publish six titles each year, most of which will be translations from other European languages, for the next ten years as we commemorate this important milestone.

The first titles to be published are The Prepper Room by Karen Duve, translated by Mike Mitchell and Take Six; Six Portuguese Women Writers edited by Margaret Jull Costa. To be followed in April by Slav Sisters :The Dedalus Book of Russian Women's Literature edited by Natasha Perova

Titles later in 2018 will include:

Baltic Belles:The Dedalus Book of Estonian Women's Literature
-edited by Elle-Mari Talivee
The Price of Dreams -Margherita Giacobino
Cleopatra Goes To Prison- Claudia Durastanti