logo

  • Member Login

Written by Guzel Yakhina Review by Marilyn Sherlock

Soviet Russia in 1930. The gradual accession of Stalin to power in the 1920s eventually ended the liberalization of society and the economy, leading instead to a period of unprecedented government control, mobilization, and terrorization of society in Russia and the other Soviet republics. In the 1930s, agriculture and industry underwent brutal forced centralization, and Russian cultural activity was highly restricted. Purges eliminated thousands of individuals deemed dangerous to the Soviet state by Stalin’s operatives. This book covers this period.  Zuleikha is a Russian peasant girl living in a small community with her husband and mother-in-law when the military arrive, kill her husband, and take her and other local inhabitants to Kazan, the capital of the area.  She is then forced to board a train bound for Siberia. In her story, we meet some of the people she travels with and live, with her, the deprivations she encounters.  Life is grim.

This is what I term a serious book.  It won the Yasnaya Polyana Award, was shortlisted for the Russian Booker Prize and also won the Russia Big Book Award, and I can see why. This edition is translated from the original Russian text; beautifully done, the characters walk off the pages, and the descriptions of the time are graphic.  It is a book that students of this period in Russian history will love, as it leaves very little to the imagination, but it was far too dark for me.  I found it interesting but did not really enjoy reading it.

zuleikha book review

APPEARED IN

Share Book Reviews

zuleikha book review

Latest articles

Dive deeper into your favourite books, eras and themes:

Here are six of our latest Editor’s Choices:

slider1

Browse articles by tag

Browse articles by author, browse reviews by genre, browse reviews by period, browse reviews by century, browse reviews by publisher, browse reviews by magazine., browse members by letter, search members..

  • Search by display name *
  • Work & Careers
  • Life & Arts

Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina — freedom in exile

Try unlimited access only $1 for 4 weeks.

Then $75 per month. Complete digital access to quality FT journalism on any device. Cancel anytime during your trial.

  • Global news & analysis
  • Expert opinion
  • Special features
  • FirstFT newsletter
  • Videos & Podcasts
  • Android & iOS app
  • FT Edit app
  • 10 gift articles per month

Explore more offers.

Standard digital.

  • FT Digital Edition

Premium Digital

Print + premium digital, ft professional, weekend print + standard digital, weekend print + premium digital.

Essential digital access to quality FT journalism on any device. Pay a year upfront and save 20%.

  • Global news & analysis
  • Exclusive FT analysis
  • FT App on Android & iOS
  • FirstFT: the day's biggest stories
  • 20+ curated newsletters
  • Follow topics & set alerts with myFT
  • FT Videos & Podcasts
  • 20 monthly gift articles to share
  • Lex: FT's flagship investment column
  • 15+ Premium newsletters by leading experts
  • FT Digital Edition: our digitised print edition
  • Weekday Print Edition
  • Videos & Podcasts
  • Premium newsletters
  • 10 additional gift articles per month
  • FT Weekend Print delivery
  • Everything in Standard Digital
  • Everything in Premium Digital

Complete digital access to quality FT journalism with expert analysis from industry leaders. Pay a year upfront and save 20%.

  • 10 monthly gift articles to share
  • Everything in Print
  • Make and share highlights
  • FT Workspace
  • Markets data widget
  • Subscription Manager
  • Workflow integrations
  • Occasional readers go free
  • Volume discount

Terms & Conditions apply

Explore our full range of subscriptions.

Why the ft.

See why over a million readers pay to read the Financial Times.

International Edition

  • Bahasa Indonesia
  • Slovenščina
  • Science & Tech
  • Russian Kitchen

A Muslim woman and a communist find love in Guzel Yakhina's 'Zuleikha'

zuleikha book review

The Russian reading public could hardly stop discussing Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes in 2015; and with good reason. The young, first-time novelist tackled the subject of the Stalin-era political purges, describing this dark page in Soviet history in such a comprehensive, vivid way that she could not help but attract attention.

Russian critics showered the book with praise. “The alchemy behind the transformation of a tragic historical subject into great prose is immensely difficult. … What we are witnessing is a very strong debut novel – the kind we have waited a very long time for. And the important thing is that the alchemy worked: the subject was re-forged into literature,” the writer and critic Pavel Basinsky wrote.

Guzel Yakhina

Russia Beyond: What is your novel about?

Guzel Yakhina: On January 30, 1930, the Soviet government issued a decree beginning the large-scale repression of wealthier peasants, kulaks , who were stripped of their property and forcefully relocated to distant and uninhabited parts of the Soviet Union, such as Siberia, the Arctic North, Kazakhstan and the Altai mountains. My novel describes these events. It is the story of one of the three million peasants who were “dekulakized”, and one of the six million who were relocated.

In general terms, however, the plot is about a worldview based on mythology. The main character, a Tatar peasant called Zuleikha, lives in an isolated, dark world which combines faith in Allah, stories about brownies and spirits and the patriarchy. If not for the circumstances that force her to enter the modern world, she would have gone on to live in what was essentially the Middle Ages. She faces a series of tragic events that lead unexpectedly to her internal liberation and an immense personal change.

But it is also about love, isn’t it?

G.Y.: Certainly, love is one of the novel's central themes. The book's second protagonist is a man of a different ethnicity, different religious persuasion and different class. Zuleikha is a Muslim Tatar, while Ivan is a committed Russian communist. They are polar opposites at the start of the story, but they move towards each other’s point of view over the course of the novel.

Drawing by Dmitry Divin

Zahar Prilepin's  recent novel Obitel’ (The Cloister) is about the Solovki prison camp. And novels tackling the themes of imprisonment and repression attract a lot of attention from Russian readers now. Why do you think that is?

G.Y.: People are clearly interested in this time period, and if they want to read about it, we need to write about it. Zuleikha  is a very personal novel, though, as it is closely related to my grandmother's life story. You could even say I really had no choice in regards to writing it. I heard about Prilepin’s novel after I had already begun work on my own, and I liked it very much when I read it. It is a serious and important work – a book you want to return to again and recommend to your friends and family.

You have said that the book is related to your grandmother – could you elaborate on this?

G.Y.: The book isn’t a biography. I only took two things from my grandmother’s life: the time period (1930-1946) and the route she took. They travelled from a Tatar village to the city of Kazan, then to Krasnoyarsk, and then along the Angara River to a remote place in the taiga (forest) where they were dumped without any support structure.

Another important difference is that my grandmother was exiled to Siberia with her dekulakized parents when she was just a little girl; she grew up there. But I was far more interested in examining the changes that an adult woman undergoes in those circumstances, so my main character starts the book aged 30.

Actress Chulpan Khamatova as Zuleikha

Which authors do you suggest foreigners should read to familiarize themselves with modern Russian literature?

G.Y.: Lyudmila Ulitskaya, of course, and also Elena Chizhova, Yevgeny Vodolazkin, and Leonid Yuzefovich.

Zuleikha: The International Bestseller

By Guzel Yakhina

zuleikha book review

BUY THE BOOK

Average rating: 6.67

Community Reviews

See why thousands of readers are using Bookclubs to stay connected.

More books by this author

by Guzel Yakhina

Rating: 3 (1 vote)

Tags: Set in Russia Female author

Zuleikha

Add comment

More books from Russia

Roadside Picnic

More books from Read Around Europe Challenge

One Night on the Island

Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina

zuleikha book review

The 7538th greatest book of all time

  • Comments (0)

If you're interested in seeing the ranking details on this book go here

This book is on the following 1 lists:

  • 100 Books to Read from Eastern Europe and Central Asia (New East Digital Archive)

Historical fiction

Create custom user list, purchase this book, edit profile.

  • Sign up and get a free ebook!
  • Don't miss our $0.99 ebook deals!

Zuleikha

The International Bestseller

Trade Paperback

LIST PRICE $17.95

Free shipping when you spend $40. Terms apply.

Buy from Other Retailers

  • Amazon logo
  • Bookshop logo

Table of Contents

  • Rave and Reviews

About The Book

About the author.

Guzel Yakhina (b. 1977 Kazan, Tatarstan) is a Russian author and filmmaker of Tatar origins. She graduated from the Kazan State Pedagogical University and completed her PhD at the Moscow Filmmaking School. Zuleikha is her first novel.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (February 11, 2020)
  • Length: 496 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781786076847

Browse Related Books

  • Fiction > Cultural Heritage
  • Fiction > Literary
  • Fiction > Historical

Raves and Reviews

‘A powerful account of individual lives trapped in one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century.’

– The Times

‘Yakhina’s prose can be exquisite, especially in sequences such as the one where Zuleikha watches prisoners escaping from the train… It is Zuleikha’s perspective and the way in which she adapts that capture our attention. The unexpected birth of a son.. and her transformation from a passive to a powerful protagonist is one of the joys of Yakhina’s work.’

– Financial Times

‘Written in a rich and highly visual prose... Zuleikha's story is one of injustice and pain, but also of a woman's emancipation and renewal.’

– Associated Press

‘As we watch its heroine’s existence devolve from an oppressive domestic servitude into something disastrously worse, Guzel Yakhina’s sprawling, ambitious first novel Zuleikha reminds us just how brutal the Soviet system was… Zuleikha does an admirable job of dramatizing a historical period rapidly receding into the forgotten past… Dramatic and eventful, Zuleikha sweeps us into a distant era.’

– New York Times Book Review

'Guzel Yakhina's novel hits the heart. It’s a powerful anthem for love and tenderness in hell.'

– Ludmila Ulitskaya, author of The Big Green Tent

'An intimate story of human endurance.'

– The Calvert Journal

‘While many writers have attempted to comprehend Soviet history's darkest moment, Yakhina finds a way to make it new.’

– Russia Beyond the Headlines

'A forceful, award-winning and debate-sparking debut novel about life in the Gulag… The novel pulsates with tension...a big, bold and fascinating book.'

'It is 1930 in the Soviet Union and Josef Stalin's dekulakization programme has found its pace. Among the victims is a young Tatar family: the husband murdered, the wife exiled to Siberia. This is her story of survival and eventual triumph. Winner of the 2015 Russian Booker prize, this debut novel draws heavily on the first-person account of the author's grandmother, a Gulag survivor.'

– The Millions, 'Most Anticipated Books of 2019'

‘This is a powerful Russian saga, giving an immense overview of life under communist rule... This author is a master at painting an image of the world as it was then.’

– Marjorie's World of Books, blog review

‘Zuleikha has an energy that is hard to resist.’

– Strong Words

'There’s something that Guzel Yakhina succeeds in transmitting with an amazing, sharp exactness: a woman’s attitude towards love. Not towards a subject of love, but towards love itself.'

– Anna Narinskaya, literary critic

‘Yakhina's debut novel has shaken the Russian book world so deeply over its first three years of life that her second book topped the 2018 sales charts alongside international bestsellers by Dan Brown and Jojo Moyes... This tale of a woman who holds onto compassion while enduring atrocity also features cinematic narration and intricate plot construction.’

– Meduza, 2019's top Russia-Related Books

'Cinematic… The cast of characters is kaleidoscopic, from all walks of life and all drawn with a visual detail that makes them inhabit the page… Yakhina has a beautiful feel for the natural environment.'

– Rights in Russia

Resources and Downloads

High resolution images.

  • Book Cover Image (jpg): Zuleikha Trade Paperback 9781786076847

Get a FREE ebook by joining our mailing list today!

Plus, receive recommendations and exclusive offers on all of your favorite books and authors from Simon & Schuster.

You may also like: Thriller and Mystery Staff Picks

Invisible Girl

More to Explore

Limited Time eBook Deals

Limited Time eBook Deals

Check out this month's discounted reads.

Our Summer Reading Recommendations

Our Summer Reading Recommendations

Red-hot romances, poolside fiction, and blockbuster picks, oh my! Start reading the hottest books of the summer.

This Month's New Releases

This Month's New Releases

From heart-pounding thrillers to poignant memoirs and everything in between, check out what's new this month.

Tell us what you like and we'll recommend books you'll love.

zuleikha book review

Fuel your life with wanderlust

Book review of ”Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” by Guzel Yakhina

Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes by Guzel Yakhina - book review

My book review of ”Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” by Guzel Yakhina emphasis how Zuleikha’s life turns upside down when she is brought far away from her homeland into a Gulag. Have you ever imagined that life in a Gulag in Siberia can be much better than in your own home? Sounds unimaginable, but continue to read my book review of ”Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” by Guzel Yakhina, one of the best contemporary novels I’ve read so far.

Zuleikha, a young Tatar, Muslim, illiterate woman lives with her husband, 30 years older man than her, together with her evil mother-in-law. Every day, she endures their severe attitude and regular punishments. Even though, she thinks everything that happens to her is normal and that she is lucky enough to get married and to have food to eat.

One of a sudden, the communists come to her village and put her on a train together with other people. Unfortunately, she doesn’t speak Russian and barely understands the situation around.

Nevertheless, the people on the train become her new home and her new family. All of them end up in Siberia where they have to re-start their lives again and build up a new Gulag.

For Zuleikha, that’s where it all began – she becomes a mother and for the first time the baby does not die shortly after the delivery. Also, she fells in love and her feelings are mutual. Not only but also, she feeds the village, she goes hunting, she becomes a nurse and helps people to survive the severe weather conditions. In a word, she lives, she breathes…….and finally Zuleikha opens her eyes and sees life’s beauty!

Main values in the book

”Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” by Guzel Yakhina is a novel about identity, religion, family values, conservatism, respect, love, political regime, education, character, skills and human nature. Above all, it’s a love story in a time of starvation and deprivation.

Russian Series based on the novel

There is a series based on the novel worth watching in Russian : ”Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” by Guzel Yakhina

Did you appreciate my book review of ”Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes” by Guzel Yakhina ? Read the book and you won’t regret it!

Thanks for reading!

Related posts

Privacy overview.

LT

  • Sign in / Join
  • Portuguese (Brazil)
  • Portuguese (Portugal)

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

(20) (16) See the section. ReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
(4.15)
… ( )
Recently added by , , , , , ,

zuleikha book review

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

zuleikha book review

"Zuleikha Valieva!" "I'm here!" In Zuleikha's whole life, she's never uttered the word "I" as many times as she has during this month in prison. Modesty is a virtue so it doesn't befit a decent woman to say "I" a lot without reason. The Tatar language is even constructed so you could live your whole life without once saying "I". No matter what tense you use to speak about yourself, the verb will go into the necessary form and the ending will change, making the use of that vain little word superfluous. It's not like that in Russian, where everybody goes out of their way to put in "I" and "me" and then "I" again. (p.146)

?

 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
primary authorall editionscalculated
Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Narratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Distinctions

Notable lists.

to edit Common Knowledge data. For more help see the .
Canonical title
( )

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

LibraryThing Early Reviewers Alum

Guzel Yakhina's book Zuleikha was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers .

zuleikha book review

Current Discussions

Popular covers.

zuleikha book review

Melvil Decimal System (DDC)

Lc classification.

0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author .

zuleikha book review

  • Literature & Fiction
  • Genre Fiction

zuleikha book review

Sorry, there was a problem.

Kindle app logo image

Download the free Kindle app and start reading Kindle books instantly on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required .

Read instantly on your browser with Kindle for Web.

Using your mobile phone camera - scan the code below and download the Kindle app.

QR code to download the Kindle App

Image Unavailable

Zuleikha

  • To view this video download Flash Player

zuleikha book review

Follow the authors

Lisa Hayden

Zuleikha Hardcover – March 26, 2019

WINNER OF THE BIG BOOK AWARD, THE YASNAYA POLYANA AWARD AND THE BEST PROSE WORK OF THE YEAR AWARD

Soviet Russia, 1930. Zuleikha, the “pitiful hen,” lives with her brutal husband Murtaza and her mother-in-law in a small Tartar village. When Murtaza is executed by communist soldiers, she is sent into exile to a remote region on the Angara River in Siberia. Hundreds die of hunger and exhaustion on the journey and over the first difficult winter, yet exile is the making of Zuleikha.

As she gets to know her fellow survivors ― among them an eccentric German doctor, a painter, and the conscience-stricken Commander Ignatov, her husband’s killer ―Zuleikha begins to build a new life far removed from the one she left behind.

Guzel Yakhina’s outstanding debut ― inspired by her grandmother's childhood memories of being exiled to the Gulag ―has been translated into twenty-one languages, capturing the hearts of readers all over the world.

  • Print length 448 pages
  • Language English
  • Publisher Oneworld Publications
  • Publication date March 26, 2019
  • Dimensions 5.75 x 1.8 x 8.85 inches
  • ISBN-10 1786073498
  • ISBN-13 978-1786073495
  • See all details

Products related to this item .sp_detail_sponsored_label { color: #555555; font-size: 11px; } .sp_detail_info_icon { width: 11px; vertical-align: text-bottom; fill: #969696; } .sp_info_link { text-decoration:none !important; } #sp_detail_hide_feedback_string { display: none; } .sp_detail_sponsored_label:hover { color: #111111; } .sp_detail_sponsored_label:hover .sp_detail_info_icon { fill: #555555; } Sponsored (function(f) {var _np=(window.P._namespace("FirebirdSpRendering"));if(_np.guardFatal){_np.guardFatal(f)(_np);}else{f(_np);}}(function(P) { P.when("A", "a-carousel-framework", "a-modal").execute(function(A, CF, AM) { var DESKTOP_METRIC_PREFIX = 'adFeedback:desktop:multiAsinAF:sp_detail'; A.declarative('sp_detail_feedback-action', 'click', function(event) { var MODAL_NAME_PREFIX = 'multi_af_modal_'; var MODAL_CLASS_PREFIX = 'multi-af-modal-'; var BASE_16 = 16; var UID_START_INDEX = 2; var uniqueIdentifier = Math.random().toString(BASE_16).substr(UID_START_INDEX); var modalName = MODAL_NAME_PREFIX + "sp_detail" + uniqueIdentifier; var modalClass = MODAL_CLASS_PREFIX + "sp_detail" + uniqueIdentifier; initModal(modalName, modalClass); removeModalOnClose(modalName); }); function initModal (modalName, modalClass) { var trigger = A.$(' '); var initialContent = ' ' + ' ' + ' '; var HEADER_STRING = "Leave feedback"; if (false) { HEADER_STRING = "Ad information and options"; } var modalInstance = AM.create(trigger, { 'content': initialContent, 'header': HEADER_STRING, 'name': modalName }); modalInstance.show(); var serializedPayload = generatePayload(modalName); A.$.ajax({ url: "/af/multi-creative/feedback-form", type: 'POST', data: serializedPayload, headers: { 'Content-Type': 'application/json', 'Accept': 'application/json'}, success: function(response) { if (!response) { return; } modalInstance.update(response); var successMetric = DESKTOP_METRIC_PREFIX + ":formDisplayed"; if (window.ue && window.ue.count) { window.ue.count(successMetric, (window.ue.count(successMetric) || 0) + 1); } }, error: function(err) { var errorText = 'Feedback Form get failed with error: ' + err; var errorMetric = DESKTOP_METRIC_PREFIX + ':error'; P.log(errorText, 'FATAL', DESKTOP_METRIC_PREFIX); if (window.ue && window.ue.count) { window.ue.count(errorMetric, (window.ue.count(errorMetric) || 0) + 1); } modalInstance.update(' ' + "Error loading ad feedback form." + ' '); } }); return modalInstance; } function removeModalOnClose (modalName) { A.on('a:popover:afterHide:' + modalName, function removeModal () { AM.remove(modalName); }); } function generatePayload(modalName) { var carousel = CF.getCarousel(document.getElementById("sp_detail")); var EMPTY_CARD_CLASS = "a-carousel-card-empty"; if (!carousel) { return; } var adPlacementMetaData = carousel.dom.$carousel.context.getAttribute("data-ad-placement-metadata"); var adDetailsList = []; if (adPlacementMetaData == "") { return; } carousel.dom.$carousel.children("li").not("." + EMPTY_CARD_CLASS).each(function (idx, item) { var divs = item.getElementsByTagName("div"); var adFeedbackDetails; for (var i = 0; i

Lost Children of the Prophet

Editorial Reviews

‘As we watch its heroine’s existence devolve from an oppressive domestic servitude into something disastrously worse, Guzel Yakhina’s sprawling, ambitious first novel Zuleikha reminds us just how brutal the Soviet system was… Zuleikha does an admirable job of dramatizing a historical period rapidly receding into the forgotten past… Dramatic and eventful, Zuleikha sweeps us into a distant era.’

‘This is a powerful Russian saga, giving an immense overview of life under communist rule... This author is a master at painting an image of the world as it was then.’

‘While many writers have attempted to comprehend Soviet history's darkest moment, Yakhina finds a way to make it new.’

‘Yakhina's debut novel has shaken the Russian book world so deeply over its first three years of life that her second book topped the 2018 sales charts alongside international bestsellers by Dan Brown and Jojo Moyes... This tale of a woman who holds onto compassion while enduring atrocity also features cinematic narration and intricate plot construction.’

‘Zuleikha has an energy that is hard to resist.’

'An intimate story of human endurance.'

‘Written in a rich and highly visual prose... Zuleikha's story is one of injustice and pain, but also of a woman's emancipation and renewal.’

'There’s something that Guzel Yakhina succeeds in transmitting with an amazing, sharp exactness: a woman’s attitude towards love. Not towards a subject of love, but towards love itself.'

‘A powerful account of individual lives trapped in one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century.’

Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina (translated by Lisa C. Hayden ): It is 1930 in the Soviet Union and Josef Stalin ’s de-kulakization program has found its pace. Among the victims is a young Tatar family: the husband murdered, the wife exiled to Siberia. This is her story of survival and eventual triumph. Winner of the 2015 Russian Booker prize, this debut novel draws heavily on the first-person account of the author’s grandmother, a Gulag survivor. (Il’ja) ( The Millions )

'Guzel Yakhina's novel hits the heart. It’s a powerful anthem for love and tenderness in hell.'

About the Author

Guzel Yakhina (b. 1977 Kazan, Tatarstan) is a Russian author and filmmaker of Tatar origins. She graduated from the Kazan State Pedagogical University and completed her PhD at the Moscow Filmmaking School. Zuleikha is her first novel.

Lisa C. Hayden ’s translations from the Russian include Eugene Vodolazkin’s Laurus , for which she won a Read Russia Award for translation in 2016. Her blog, Lizok’s Bookshelf, examines contemporary Russian fiction. She lives in Scarborough, Maine.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Oneworld Publications; Hardback edition (March 26, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 448 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1786073498
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1786073495
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.54 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.75 x 1.8 x 8.85 inches
  • #4,879 in Cultural Heritage Fiction
  • #19,628 in Family Life Fiction (Books)
  • #66,333 in Literary Fiction (Books)

About the authors

Lisa hayden.

Discover more of the author’s books, see similar authors, read author blogs and more

Guzel Yakhina

Products related to this item .sp_detail2_sponsored_label { color: #555555; font-size: 11px; } .sp_detail2_info_icon { width: 11px; vertical-align: text-bottom; fill: #969696; } .sp_info_link { text-decoration:none important; } #sp_detail2_hide_feedback_string { display: none; } .sp_detail2_sponsored_label:hover { color: #111111; } .sp_detail2_sponsored_label:hover .sp_detail2_info_icon { fill: #555555; } sponsored (function(f) {var _np=(window.p._namespace("firebirdsprendering"));if(_np.guardfatal){_np.guardfatal(f)(_np);}else{f(_np);}}(function(p) { p.when("a", "a-carousel-framework", "a-modal").execute(function(a, cf, am) { var desktop_metric_prefix = 'adfeedback:desktop:multiasinaf:sp_detail2'; a.declarative('sp_detail2_feedback-action', 'click', function(event) { var modal_name_prefix = 'multi_af_modal_'; var modal_class_prefix = 'multi-af-modal-'; var base_16 = 16; var uid_start_index = 2; var uniqueidentifier = math.random().tostring(base_16).substr(uid_start_index); var modalname = modal_name_prefix + "sp_detail2" + uniqueidentifier; var modalclass = modal_class_prefix + "sp_detail2" + uniqueidentifier; initmodal(modalname, modalclass); removemodalonclose(modalname); }); function initmodal (modalname, modalclass) { var trigger = a.$(' '); var initialcontent = ' ' + ' ' + ' '; var header_string = "leave feedback"; if (false) { header_string = "ad information and options"; } var modalinstance = am.create(trigger, { 'content': initialcontent, 'header': header_string, 'name': modalname }); modalinstance.show(); var serializedpayload = generatepayload(modalname); a.$.ajax({ url: "/af/multi-creative/feedback-form", type: 'post', data: serializedpayload, headers: { 'content-type': 'application/json', 'accept': 'application/json'}, success: function(response) { if (response) { return; } modalinstance.update(response); var successmetric = desktop_metric_prefix + ":formdisplayed"; if (window.ue && window.ue.count) { window.ue.count(successmetric, (window.ue.count(successmetric) || 0) + 1); } }, error: function(err) { var errortext = 'feedback form get failed with error: ' + err; var errormetric = desktop_metric_prefix + ':error'; p.log(errortext, 'fatal', desktop_metric_prefix); if (window.ue && window.ue.count) { window.ue.count(errormetric, (window.ue.count(errormetric) || 0) + 1); } modalinstance.update(' ' + "error loading ad feedback form." + ' '); } }); return modalinstance; } function removemodalonclose (modalname) { a.on('a:popover:afterhide:' + modalname, function removemodal () { am.remove(modalname); }); } function generatepayload(modalname) { var carousel = cf.getcarousel(document.getelementbyid("sp_detail2")); var empty_card_class = "a-carousel-card-empty"; if (carousel) { return; } var adplacementmetadata = carousel.dom.$carousel.context.getattribute("data-ad-placement-metadata"); var addetailslist = []; if (adplacementmetadata == "") { return; } carousel.dom.$carousel.children("li").not("." + empty_card_class).each(function (idx, item) { var divs = item.getelementsbytagname("div"); var adfeedbackdetails; for (var i = 0; i.

FUNDAMENTAL IMAGE

Customer reviews

Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them.

To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzed reviews to verify trustworthiness.

Customers say

Customers find the historical content skillful and emotional, bringing the atrocities to a personal level. They also praise the writing quality as wonderful and vivid, with relatable and honest descriptions of the various settings. Customers also appreciate the good character development, but find the mythological sections tedious.

AI-generated from the text of customer reviews

Customers find the historical content exciting, relatable, and informative. They also say the book is skillful and imbedded in actual events.

"...Beautiful. Exquisite. History revealed slowly through human experiences , struggles, incredible obstacles and intense emotions. Very moving...." Read more

"The author and translator are very skilled at evoking worlds . The descriptions of nature and the hardships of the Semruk settlement are lyrical...." Read more

"...crafted descriptions of nature come together to create a truly memorable read ." Read more

"...-called kulak (i.e. a peasant small landholder) but the book is full of memorable figures . As hard as their lives are, I enjoyed very page." Read more

Customers find the writing quality wonderful, rich, and excellent. They also appreciate the brilliant descriptions of harsh environments and struggles for survival.

"...Very moving. Guzel Yakhina describes nature in lush, rich detail as she develops strong, tough characters...." Read more

" Great writing , character development and pace." Read more

"...The details are painful and profound . The story feels equal to the truth through and through." Read more

"...The author is so talented that it is absolutely impossible to believe that this book was her debut in literature...." Read more

Customers appreciate the character development, and admire her strength and courage.

"...struggles, and finds reason to live, I came to love and admire her strength and courage . Highly recommended...." Read more

"Great writing, character development and pace ." Read more

"...I gather the book is highly rated because it has a strong Muslim lead character who is oppressed by white males and thus fits into the great..." Read more

"...opens a window onto a terrible time and through the brilliant development of its main characters , ensures that the reader ardently stays invoved in..." Read more

  • Sort reviews by Top reviews Most recent Top reviews

Top reviews from the United States

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. please try again later..

zuleikha book review

Top reviews from other countries

zuleikha book review

  • About Amazon
  • Investor Relations
  • Amazon Devices
  • Amazon Science
  • Sell products on Amazon
  • Sell on Amazon Business
  • Sell apps on Amazon
  • Become an Affiliate
  • Advertise Your Products
  • Self-Publish with Us
  • Host an Amazon Hub
  • › See More Make Money with Us
  • Amazon Business Card
  • Shop with Points
  • Reload Your Balance
  • Amazon Currency Converter
  • Amazon and COVID-19
  • Your Account
  • Your Orders
  • Shipping Rates & Policies
  • Returns & Replacements
  • Manage Your Content and Devices
 
 
 
   
  • Conditions of Use
  • Privacy Notice
  • Consumer Health Data Privacy Disclosure
  • Your Ads Privacy Choices

zuleikha book review

COMMENTS

  1. Exiled to Siberia: A First Novel Revisits Stalin's Great Purge

    The heroine of Guzel Yakhina's "Zuleikha" is a young Tatar widow, forced into a horror-filled journey that will end in Russia's frozen wilderness.

  2. Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina

    Guzel Yakhina's smooth prose describes Zuleikha's adjustment to a new reality and her discovery of a new form of happiness, and covers a range of cultural, ethnic, religious and socio-political issues. This outstanding debut novel from an exciting new talent has been showered with prizes and is capturing the hearts of readers all over the world.

  3. The Two Lives of One Woman: On Guzel Yakhina's "Zuleikha"

    Yakhina makes childbirth a watershed between Zuleikha's two lives. The long train ride, which in reality took a month and a half, lasts six months in the novel. Neither the man in charge of the ...

  4. Zuleikha

    This book covers this period. Zuleikha is a Russian peasant girl living in a small community with her husband and mother-in-law when the military arrive, kill her husband, and take her and other local inhabitants to Kazan, the capital of the area. She is then forced to board a train bound for Siberia. In her story, we meet some of the people ...

  5. Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina

    Zuleikha contains a truth familiar from more conventional road trip novels: it takes the worst of fates to liberate Zuleikha.

  6. A Muslim woman and a communist find love in Guzel Yakhina's 'Zuleikha

    The book's second protagonist is a man of a different ethnicity, different religious persuasion and different class. Zuleikha is a Muslim Tatar, while Ivan is a committed Russian communist.

  7. Zuleikha (novel)

    Zuleikha ( Russian: Зулейха́ открыва́ет глаза́, Zuleihka otkrivaet glaza [ Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes ]) is a debut novel written in 2015 by the Russian author Guzel Yakhina. It describes the lives of various people, including the titular protagonist, struggling to survive in exile in Siberia from 1930 to 1946.

  8. Zuleikha: The International Bestseller

    Zuleikha does an admirable job of dramatizing a historical period rapidly receding into the forgotten past… Dramatic and eventful, Zuleikha sweeps us into a distant era.' ― New York Times Book Review

  9. Forging Hope in Exile: Interview with Guzel Yakhina, author of Zuleikha

    Guzel Yakhina's debut novel, Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes, was first published in Russian in 2015. It tells the story of a young Tatar woman who falls victim to the Soviet collectivization campaign and is exiled to a Siberian settlement, where she has to start life anew. The book became not just a bestseller, it became a literary phenomenon. Having been translated into thirty-one languages, it is ...

  10. Book Review: Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina

    Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina (translated by Lisa Hayden) is an unusual and powerful book. It is well written in beautiful narrative, and very gripping. The first chapter introduces the reader to Zuleikha, a Tartar woman living in an ordinary Tartar village, and is very gripping showing a very simple woman who is happy with her lot in life, even ...

  11. Zuleikha: The International Bestseller

    Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Zuleikha: The International Bestseller at Amazon.com. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users.

  12. Rachel (Australia)'s review of Zuleikha

    4/5: #ReadAroundTheWorld. #Russia Zuleikha is the debut novel of Russian author Guzel Yakhina and winner of the Russian Big Book Award, the Yasnaya Polyana Award, the Best Prose Work of the Year Award and is shortlisted for the Russian Booker Prize (2015). Set in the 1930s in the communist Soviet Union in Kazan, Tatarstan and Siberia, it tells the story of young Muslim Tatar housewife Zuleikha ...

  13. Zuleikha: The International Bestseller

    WINNER OF THE BIG BOOK AWARD, THE LEO TOLSTOY YASNAYA POLYANA AWARD AND THE BEST PROSE WORK OF THE YEAR AWARD SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2020 READ RUSSIA PRIZE RUNNER-UP FOR THE EBRD LITERATURE PRIZE, 2020 Zuleikha is the model of a dutiful wife. Biddible and meek, she has resigned herself to brutal treatment at the hands of her cruel husband and the carping of her despotic mother-in-law.

  14. Zuleikha: The International Bestseller by Guzel Yakhina

    WINNER OF THE BIG BOOK AWARD, THE LEO TOLSTOY YASNAYA POLYANA AWARD AND THE BEST PROSE WORK OF THE YEAR AWARD SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2020 READ RUSSIA PRIZE RUNNER-UP FOR THE EBRD LITERATURE PRIZE, 2020 Zuleikha is the model of a dutiful wife.

  15. Zuleikha: The International Bestseller Kindle Edition

    Zuleikha does an admirable job of dramatizing a historical period rapidly receding into the forgotten past… Dramatic and eventful, Zuleikha sweeps us into a distant era.' (New York Times Book Review)

  16. Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina

    WINNER OF THE BIG BOOK AWARD, THE LEO TOLSTOY YASNAYA POLYANA AWARD AND THE BEST PROSE WORK OF THE YEAR AWARD A sweeping, multi-award winning novel set in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, as gangs of marauding soldiers terrorise and plunder the countryside. Zuleikha, the 'pitiful hen', is living in the home of her brutal husband and despotic mother-in-law in a small Tatar village. When ...

  17. Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina

    This page contains details about the book Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina published in 2015. This book is the 3607th greatest book of all time as determined by thegreatestbooks.org.

  18. Zuleikha

    State. Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina - WINNER OF THE BIG BOOK AWARD, THE LEO TOLSTOY YASNAYA POLYANA AWARD AND THE BEST PROSE WORK OF THE YEAR AWARD SHORTLISTED FOR THE...

  19. Book review of "Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes" by Guzel Yakhina

    Book review of "Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes" by Guzel Yakhina. Zuleikha, a young Tatar, Muslim, illiterate woman lives with her husband, 30 years older man than her, together with her evil mother-in-law. Every day, she endures their severe attitude and regular punishments. Even though, she thinks everything that happens to her is normal and ...

  20. Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes to Dark Spots of Russian History

    The series, based on the prize-wining novel "Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes" by Guzel Yakhina, tells the story of the hardships endured in the 1930s by the Tatar people— and by many other ethnic ...

  21. Zuleikha: The International Bestseller

    Zuleikha is the model of a dutiful wife. Biddible and meek, she has resigned herself to brutal treatment at the hands of her cruel husband and the carping of her despotic mother-in-law. While Russia reels in the aftermath of its recent revolution, life in her small Tatar village is relatively untouched. Or so it seems to Zuleikha, until the day ...

  22. Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina

    Zuleikha is the debut novel of Russian author Guzel Yakhina and winner of the Russian Big Book Award, the Yasnaya Polyana Award, the Best Prose Work of the Year Award and is shortlisted for the Russian Booker Prize (2015). Set in the 1930s in the communist Soviet Union in Kazan, Tatarstan and Siberia, it tells the story of young Muslim Tatar housewife Zuleikha, who is deported to Semruk, a ...

  23. Amazon.com: Zuleikha: 9781786073495: Yakhina, Guzel, Hayden, Lisa C.: Books

    Zuleikha by Guzel Yakhina (translated by Lisa C. Hayden): It is 1930 in the Soviet Union and Josef Stalin's de-kulakization program has found its pace. Among the victims is a young Tatar family: the husband murdered, the wife exiled to Siberia. This is her story of survival and eventual triumph. Winner of the 2015 Russian Booker prize, this ...