In April publisher "Kvir" (Queer), well known for its gay magazine of the same name, introduces 3 books in a series entitled "Dark Walkways."
This is the second attempt to publish a series of books aimed at the homosexual population. At the end of 2000 the "Thematic Series" was offered by Kolonna Publications only to later be terminated as recently many writers have become leery of being published under a "gay prose" label.
Opening the series "Dark Walkways" is a collection of prose from Saint Petersburg author Gennady Trifonov (born 1945) "the most refined, most mournful and most amorous poet" of the 1970s. In 1976 he was sentenced for violation of Statute 121 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation for bedding men" and survived four separate prisons and three prison camps. Contained in the collection are the novel "The Net," about the love of two adolescents in a Soviet prison, and the novel "Lyova."
The protagonist of "Lyova" has "lived for some time in the USA. It was the only thing I could do for him. In Russia he would have perished," confesses Trifonov. The novel tells the story of how a man and a youngster learn to be friends, understand and love one another. Often, for the latter, strength and resoluteness, capable of destroying the barriers of societal stereotypes, are lacking.
The author of the second book, Constantine Kostenko (born 1966), lives on the other side of the Ural Mountains. He is a playwright and self-taught literary scholar who has written more than 20 plays, the most famous of which, "Claustrophobia," is about homosexual rape in prison. Also included in the series is his narrative "Copulation with God," about the life of young gays from the Russia's Far East.
And, finally, the third book, entitled "Bunking with Commanders" by Valery Bondarenko (born 1958) is comprised of compositions dedicated to gay relations in the army. The author considers this "symbolic, as nowhere do the right to be yourself and the laws of nature enter into such an appalling contradiction with the expectations of our still dense and sluggish-to-recognize-anything-good society as they do in the army."
During 2006 under the "Dark Walkways" series, the publisher "Kvir" (Queer) will publish 12 books in all, the authors of which are either gay or write about and for gays. A few of these writers live abroad in Europe and in the US.
Translation by Timofey Grishin