The Blumkin Project: A Biographical Novel (Paperback)

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The Blumkin Project: A Biographical Novel By Christian Salmon, William Rodarmor (Translated by) Cover Image
By Christian Salmon, William Rodarmor (Translated by)
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This page-turning biographical novel follows the footsteps of a forgotten legend of the Russian Revolution, from Odessa to Moscow, Istanbul, and beyond.
Yakov Blumkin claimed to have had nine lives. Born to a poor Jewish family and orphaned as a child, he was a Socialist Revolutionary, a terrorist, the assassin of the German ambassador Wilhelm von Mirbach, a poet close to the avant-garde, a member of Cheka, a military strategist, a secret agent, and Leon Trotsky’s secretary. Executed in 1929 on Stalin’s orders at the age of only twenty-nine, he has continued to inspire a powerful curiosity, and wild rumors and falsehoods about his extraordinary life abound today. 

As a young man in 1980s Paris, Christian Salmon identified strongly as a Bolshevik, drawn to the glorious October Revolution immortalized in literature and films such as Warren Beatty’s Reds and Sergei Eisenstein’s trilogy. Picking up the thread of his dream thirty years later, he sets out to reconstruct Blumkin’s shadowy past and ever-shifting identity with a trove of manuscripts, documents, rare photographs, and personal souvenirs.

About the Author

Christian Salmon is a writer and researcher at France’s National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). He founded and was a member of the International Parliament of Writers from 1993 to 2003. He is the author of several books, including Verbicide, Devenir minoritaire: Pour une nouvelle politique de la littérature (coauthored with Joseph Hanimann), and Tombeau de la fiction.

William Rodarmor has translated some forty-five books and screenplays in genres ranging from literary fiction to espionage and fantasy. In 2017 he won the Northern California Book Award for fiction translation for The Slow Waltz of Turtles by Katherine Pancol. His recent translations include And Their Children After Them by Nicolas Mathieu (2020) and Article 353 by Tanguy Viel (2019).

Praise For…

“An intriguing Russian saga, full of politics, treachery, and a sharp stamp of authenticity. Richly evocative.” —Steve Berry, New York Times bestselling author of The Omega Factor

The Blumkin Project is a tale of espionage, revolution, assassination, revenge, and betrayal. It’s a saga, a fantasy, a historical document, a mystery, a love story, and a coming-of-age—all with the added benefit of being compelling, eye-opening, and even (possibly) true!” —Alina Adams, author of The Nesting Dolls and My Mother’s Secret: A Novel of the Jewish Autonomous Region

The Blumkin Project is a brilliant multilayered construction, part memoir and part biography of legendary revolutionary Yakov Blumkin. This is both a page-turner and a beautifully written book—an enlightening and exciting must-read for anyone interested in the Russian Revolution or twentieth-century Europe.” —Ariana Neumann, New York Times bestselling author of When Time Stopped: A Memoir of My Father’s War and What Remains

“For this man of many identities, each past episode consists of multiple versions…As an expert in the art of narrative, Christian Salmon understands what is most fascinating about this period of history: that the contemporaries of the revolution were, as the poet Mandelstam wrote, ‘cast out of their own biographies.’” —Le Monde des livres

“An investigation that reads like a spy novel, but a true novel in which we encounter Mandelstam, Mayakovsky, and Victor Serge.” —Livres Hebdo
“A genuine swashbuckling adventure story, Salmon’s book builds on episodes of spectacular, even extraordinary battles…Remarkable.” —Libération

Product Details
ISBN: 9781590511541
ISBN-10: 1590511549
Publisher: Other Press
Publication Date: September 27th, 2022
Pages: 352
Language: English