Felix Svetov; Zoya Svetova
Biography experience: novel; The Innocent


The book combines documentary prose written by father and daughter: "Biography experience" by Felix Svetov and "The Innocent" by Zoya Svetova.

Felix Svetov (1927-2002), a writer and dissident, in a novel banned in the USSR and first published in Paris when its author was already in prison for "anti-Soviet agitation", finds a new way to tell about his country, about the 1920s-1970s. About the shooting of his father, about his childhood as the son of an "enemy of the people", about adolescence in the evacuation, about youth in the era of the "thaw", about God-seeking, dissidence and love. Forty years later, his daughter, Zoya Svetova, a journalist and human rights activist, created her own documentary story — the story of innocently convicted people and their judges, a terrible story in its clarity about society and the judicial system of Russia.

These works are united not only by the surname, kinship of the authors. Showing private destinies against the background of a great history, "The Experience of biography" and "Innocent" help to better understand how Russia has been organized for the last hundred years. This is a fascinating reading, inside of which is a story about the adventures of free people in an unfree country and the possibility of consolation. It's as if the authors, father and daughter, echo and complement each other, telling a common story: about the possibility of preserving themselves under inhuman regimes and not losing hope in dark times.

"Time changes books. People read them anew from within their experience. In the black year 2022, both books read as written today. And as one common book." Philip Dziadko