Writers at the Flashpoint: The Caucasus
Caught between West (Russia) and East (Iran), between Christianity (Armenia and Georgia) and Islam (Azerbaidzhan, Dagestan, etc.), home to hundreds of ethic groups and cultures, the Caucasus has for centuries been a political and military powderkeg. In recent times, it has surpassed the Balkans as a danger zone where myriad conflicting ethnic and religious elements come together in a potentially explosive brew.
Young authors from the Caucasus, writing about the Caucasus, form one of the most exciting and visible components of the Russian literary scene today. Their Russian brethren have answered the call, making the volatile region on Russia's southern borders a central theme of Russian literature.
Three of the most interesting and important of those voices belong to winners and finalists of the prestigious Debut Prize, Russia's premier award for new writing: Arslan Khasavov, Alisa Ganieva (pictured) and Sergei Shargunov.
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