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Anna Babiashkina

BEFORE I CROAK

A novel

Translated by Muireann Maguire

200 pp., ISBN 978-5-7172-0098-1

Before I Croak is about five middle-brow women in their 60s who come to an old age home in a Moscow suburb to experience their “second youth.” They try to pursue their unrealized writing careers and start a literary magazine.
The action takes place in 2039 which is the only fantastic element in the novel, the rest of the action is abundantly true to life: intrigues and jealousy, creative plans and frustrated desires, but also a thirst for life and love, hopes and disillusionments, family relationships and generation gap.

The characters discover gradually that in their past they have been interconnected through mutual friends and so as they compare notes and many past riddles transpire and problems resolved.

In the end the author pronounces a merciless verdict to her generation of blogs and live journals as she pictures them three decades from now: not capable of constructive action they are bound to come to no good.

The novel abounds in mirth and humor, comical situations and memorable witticisms.

“My novel is a letter from the future that gives us, children of the late Communist era, now around 30, a glance into our not-so-distant future,” Leonidova said.

“Anna Leonidova is one of Russia's most outstanding rising young novelists. She has a deft comic touch and a sure ability to spoof genre fiction, from chick lit to the detective novel. Her prizewinning bestseller 'Before I Croak' is the story of a strong-willed pensioner who plans to write the Great Russian Novel of her generation in a residential care home, only to discover more than she bargained for...” – Dr Muireann Maguire, Oxford

ANNA LEONIDOVA, born in 1979 in a small town in Central Russia, has a degree in Journalism from Moscow University. Currently she works as chief editor of a women's magazine with a circulation of 180,000. She has several published novels to her name. In 2011 her semi-fantasy novel Before I Croak won the Debut Prize and previous it has also won the Bestseller Prize as the best "urban novel".