From the acclaimed author of New Finnish Grammar, The Last of the Vostyachs is the tale of a long-lost language and culture, forgotten but for a single man.
Ivan grew up in a gulag and held his dying father in his arms. Since then he has not uttered a word. He has lived in the wild, kept company only by the wolves and his reindeer-skin drum. He is the last of an ancient Siberian shamanic tribe, the Vostyachs, and the only person left on earth to know their language.
But when the innocent wild man Ivan is found in the forests by the lively linguist Olga, his existence proves to be a triumphant discovery for some, a grave inconvenience for others. And the reader is transported into the heart of the wildest imagination.
Diego Marani was born in Ferrara in 1959. He has worked as a translator and policy officer for the European Commission and has written several other novels, collections of essays and short stories. Marani's earlier novel, New Finnish Grammar, was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Award and the Best Translated Book Award.
Judith Landry won the 2012 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize for her translation of New Finnish Grammar.
'When I reviewed New Finnish Grammar, I edged towards using the word "genius" to describe Marani. I'm doing so again now.' Guardian
'A roller-coaster ride whisking the reader alternatively through zones of darkness, hilarity, cruelty, tenderness, the near-lubricious...There's something for almost everyone.' PEN
'A riot of comic unpredictability.' Times Literary Supplement