Kira Yarmysh


Kira Yarmysh has been Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny’s press secretary since 2014. A graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, she has several times been arrested in connection with her work for Navalny, spent a month in prison, and is now living abroad in exile. This is her debut novel.


  Kira Yarmysh

The Incredible Events
in Women’s Cell Number 3
Translated by Arch Tait

Grove (US), Serpent’s Tail (UK)

Hardback $27, £16.99

Order from Blackwell’s (UK) HERE
or Barnes & Noble USA HERE

ISBN 9780802160737 (USA)
9781800817531 (UK)

eISBN 9781800817548
374 pages

Winner of a PEN Translates award

In a large barren room furnished only with communal bunkbeds, Anya meets her cellmates: five ordinary Russian women arrested on petty charges. They come from all strata of Russian society, and as they pass the long hours waiting to be released they slowly build trust and companionship while sipping lukewarm tea from plastic cups and playing games. Above all, they talk: about politics, feminism, their families, their sexualities, and how to make the most of prison life. Yet as the waking days stretch listlessly before Anya, she is plagued by strange nightmarish visions and begins to wonder if her cellmates might not actually be as ordinary as they seem. Will the face of everyday life ultimately crack for good?

Kira Yarmysh’s book is superb. I am happy that my past is being recognized: I myself sat in the cell next door (albeit at a different time), and I can confirm that all the characters are very realistic. It also explores the secret of what modern women think and want.
Alexey Navalny

Kira Yarmysh can do more with a single detention cell than most writers can with an entire continent. In The Incredible Events in Women’s Cell Number 3, she updates and upends the traditions of the Russian prison novel, and in doing so, creates a startling panorama of contemporary Russian society. The result is required reading for anyone who wants to better understand life under Putin.
Anthony Marra


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