Author talk and signing: Natasha Pulley
This clever, gripping novel is based on the true story of a nuclear research facility at Chelyabinsk, where an accident in 1957 caused acute radiation sickness in the area.
Thursday 23rd March at 7pm, The Collection Museum Auditorium
From a Lindum Books favourite and author of The Watchmaker of Filigree Street series and The Kingdoms comes an epic Cold War novel set in a mysterious town - based on real life events. The Half Life of Valery K was a Sunday Times Best Book of 2022 and a Times Historical Fiction Book of the Month
The truth must come out. In 1963, in a Siberian gulag, former nuclear specialist Valery Kolkhanov has mastered what it takes to survive: the right connections to the guards for access to food and cigarettes, the right pair of warm boots to avoid frostbite, and the right attitude toward the small pleasures of life. But on one ordinary day, all that changes: Valery's university mentor steps in and sweeps Valery from the frozen prison camp to a mysterious unnamed town hidden within a forest so damaged it looks like the trees have rusted from within. Here, Valery is Dr. Kolkhanov once more, and he's expected to serve out his prison term studying the effect of radiation on local animals. But as Valery begins his work, he is struck by the questions his research raises: what, exactly, is being hidden from the thousands who live in the town? And if he keeps looking for answers, will he live to serve out his sentence? Based on real events in a surreal Soviet city, and told with bestselling author Natasha Pulley's inimitable style, The Half Life of Valery K is a sweeping historical adventure.
Review: This clever, gripping novel is based on the true story of a nuclear research facility at Chelyabinsk, where an accident in 1957 caused acute radiation sickness in the area. Natasha Pulley's wry, intelligent style works well to depict the Soviet world of lies and secrets, and Valery's naive goodness is a mirror to the murky world he inhabits * The Times, Book of the Month *
Review: Pulley adds to her impressive oeuvre with another exquisite novel. Many of the author's trademarks are on display here: a finely-drawn period setting, a vein of dark humour, a plot blending historical fact and fiction, and a protagonist seeking to do the right thing in the face of a brutal political machine. An illuminating and immersive historical tale -- Vaseem Khan
Author Biography: Natasha Pulley's first novel The Watchmaker of Filigree Street was a Sunday Times bestseller, won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Authors' Club Best First Novel Award. Her second novel, The Bedlam Stacks was shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature's Encore Award and longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize, while subsequent novels The Lost Future of Pepperharrow and The Kingdoms were published to widespread critical acclaim, cementing Natasha's reputation as one of the most original and exciting new young writers at work.