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A novel by Oleg Prihodko.
Book design and illustrations
by Diana Bychkova.
Years of creation: 2009-2010
The short novel was published in the Journal of the Union of Russian Writers in Germany "Literaturnij evropeez".
The first edition was published in the Russian language by the publishing house Raduga in Kiev in 2010, and was not distributed for political reasons.
© DS Art studio - www.ds-art.net and Oleg Prihodko.
About the novel and graphic work.
The novel is a very complicated and lyrical one, difficult to perceive and simple in reading, awful and with careless facility at the same time. It is a philosophical look about the Chechen war, a glance from the heavens, and it is written on the basis of documentary materials by the journalist Anna Politkovskaya.
"The game of the heavens" does not resemble any of the works written by Oleg Prihodko before or after it. The plot filled by deep psychological effort, based on elaborate characters and intertwining destinies that grow to the tragic apotheosis. The complicated journey of the protagonist Verka (a frivolous stripper from Moscow that departs for Chechnya to look for her disappeared son) becomes her trip to hell’s “five rivers” of cruel and vicious war, her real Revelation – its purifying effect elevates the mind and influences the reader’s attitude. After having read the tale you will long hear the sacred sounds of Adagio, striking down from the sky.
Working on this book’s graphic design, I studied Politkovskaya's works, I also collected all possible documentary materials, essays, diaries, pieces of newspapers, photos, letters, postcards, even stamps and seals. An essay could be written on the basis of all this. But for the moment I closed all my collected material into a folder.
The illustrations in a little distracted way were created: the novel is hard in itself, and I didn’t want to divert the reader’s attention to my drawings. I created a parallel accompaniment to the novel in my illustrations – that reflects the philosophical atmosphere of the story but does not enter into conflict with it.
I was fortunate to be a student of the novel’s author many years ago, and then I worked on the illustrations in close cooperation with him. This allowed me to reach the best harmony and to create a resonance between the drawings and the author’s ideas.
Illustrations: 4 full-page illustrations, 7 headpieces, title, cover and ending. Delicate and discreet visual accompaniment performed with the ink drawings.
Oleg Prihodko (b. 1954) - Novelist, screenwriter.
He has written books that were published in the prestigious series of Eksmo (Moscow), "Black Cat" and "Russian bestseller" that earned him a reputation among fans of detective-adventure genre ("Alone in a strange space", "A handful of bullets and a little luck," "The Punisher ","Hard version ", etc.). Such bestsellers as "One in a strange space", "A handful of bullets and a little luck," "Requiem for a Witness," "Werewolf" and others republished in Russia and abroad, were awarded literature prizes "The best novel of the year", "For contribution to Russian literature". Most of the works were screened in movies, based on original scripts filmed movies and television series ("Women's work is a risk to life", "Psychopath", "Everyone must die", "Mim Bim or someone else’s life". The movie "Collapse" about the disaster at Chernobyl , filmed from a screenplay by Oleg Prihodko, has been awarded with twenty-six international awards, among which - the Gold Medal of the Senate at the IFF in Venice in 1990.
Open book cover
Some of the illustrations