When German journalist Jens Mühling met Juri, a Russian television producer selling stories about his homeland, he was mesmerized by what he heard: the real Russia and Ukraine were more unbelievable than anything he could have invented.
The encounter changed Mühling’s life, triggering a number of journeys to Ukraine and deep into the Russian heartland on a quest for stories of ordinary and extraordinary people. Away from the bright lights of Moscow, Mühling met and befriended a Dostoevskian cast of characters, including a hermit from Tayga who had only recently discovered the existence of a world beyond the woods, a Ukrainian Cossack who defaced the statue of Lenin in central Kiev, and a priest who insisted on returning to Chernobyl to preach to the stubborn few determined to remain in the exclusion zone.
Unveiling a portion of the world whose contradictions, attractions, and absurdities are still largely unknown to people outside its borders, A Journey into Russia is a much-needed glimpse into one of today’s most significant regions.
Reviews of the book:
‘To understand the ambiguities, contradictions, absurdities and complexities of the Russian soul, the advice was always to read Gogol. The advice now would be to read Jens Mühling. There is a shock of discovery and a shot of pleasure on every page.’ – The Times
‘A compelling story of an author’s journey into deepest Siberia in a quest to meet a woman determined to remain cut off from the outside world ‘ – The Telegraph
About the author:
Jens Mühling, born in 1976, was editor of a German language newspaper in Moscow between 2003 and 2005 and has since been working for the Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel. He has won the Axel Springer Prize and the Peter Boenisch Prize for reportage.