The Chukchi Bible


Product Details

Archipelago Books
Publish Date
6.0 X 1.2 X 7.0 inches | 1.1 pounds
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About the Author

Yuri Rytkheu was born in Uelen, a village in the Chukotka region of Siberia. He sailed the Bering Sea, worked on Arctic geological expeditions, and hunted in Arctic waters, in addition to writing over a dozen novels and collections of stories. His novel A Dream in Polar Fog was a Kiriyama Pacific Rim Prize Notable Book in 2006. In the late 1950s, Rytkheu emerged not only as a great literary talent, but as the unique voice of a small national minority - the Chukchi people, a shrinking community residing in one of the most majestic and inhospitable environments on earth.

Ilona Yazhbin Chavasse translated Rytkheu's novel A Dream in Polar Fog. Born in the former Soviet Union, she now lives in London with her husband and daughter.


A last, ringing testament to Rytkheu's people: a reworking of their myths, their history, and his own ancestry, in a poetic act of reclamation. . . Rich in the texture and detail of past lives. --The New York Review of Books

Breathtaking, wild, and imaginative . . . so clear, surefooted, vivid and confident . . . They describe the marking of the seasons -- the breaking ice, changing light, frost and drift . . . the training of shamans; the passing on of rituals and healing skills. --The Los Angeles Times

An extended epitaph inscribed on the tombstone of a small nationality. . . . [with] an indigenous genesis myth, a fall from grace and fratricide legends, a Chukchi Deuteronomy, and a prophet-like figure. . . . [with] a heightened sense of nostalgia and . . . the full range of Rytkheu's style, from the lyrical prose of his myths and legends to the down-to-earth idiom of European whalers and merchants. --World Literature Today

This story by Yuri Rytkheu is a love song to human survival, both physical and metaphysical, a true story about change and endurance, about the Essential way to live in the world, about the eternal story while recounting the fleeting one. --Gioia Timpanelli

Yuri writes with passion, strength, and beauty of a world we others have never understood. A splendid book. --Farley Mowat