Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

The Incredible Events in Women’s Cell Number 3

by Kira Yarmysh Translated from Russian by Arch Tait

The startling, vivid debut novel by Alexey Navalny’s press secretary, currently living abroad in exile, following a woman who is arrested at an anti-corruption rally in Moscow and sentenced to ten days in a special detention center, where she shares a cell with five other women from all walks of life

  • Imprint Grove Hardcover
  • Page Count 384
  • Publication Date February 07, 2023
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6073-7
  • Dimensions 6" x 9"
  • US List Price $27.00
  • Imprint Grove Hardcover
  • Publication Date February 07, 2023
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-6074-4
  • US List Price $27.00

The Incredible Events in Women’s Cell Number 3 is the debut novel by Kira Yarmysh that follows a young woman, Anya, who is arrested at a Moscow anti-corruption rally, and, under false charges, sentenced to a ten-day stretch at a special detention center.

In a large barren room furnished only by communal bunkbeds, Anya meets her cellmates: five ordinary Russian women arrested on petty charges. They come from all strata and experiences of Russian society, and as they pass the long hours waiting to be released, they slowly build trust and companionship while sipping lukewarm tea in 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, soon 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 façade of everyday life ultimately crack for good?

A brilliant exploration of what it means to be marginalized both as an independent woman and in an increasingly intolerant Russia in particular, and a powerful prison story that renews a grand Russian tradition, The Incredible Events in Women’s Cell Number 3 introduces one of the most urgent and gripping new voices in international literature.

Tags Literary

International Praise for The Incredible Events in Women’s Cell Number 3:

“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

“Centuries pass, generations change, but novels about prison and jail, freedom and captivity, are still being published in Russia. The Incredible Events in Women’s Cell Number 3 is as timely as Maxim Gorky’s Prison Hours, but a much livelier read!”—Boris Akunin, bestselling author of the Erast Fandorin series

“I almost fell into the trap of expectations and missed one of the year’s best novels. Kira Yarmysh’s novel is a striking text that reads simultaneously as a gripping story, a gorgeous gallery of humanity, a stirring tale of youth, and a sweeping and impressive metaphor for what is happening in Russia today . . . It’s just very, very cool. And whatever preconceptions you may have are probably wrong.”—Galina Yuzefovich, Russian literary critic

“Everything Yarmysh writes about is felt ardently, sincerely and truly . . . Yarmysh turns stories seemingly lifted from the news into an account that is at once very personal, deeply universal, captivating and genuinely timely.”—Meduza (Russia)

“Given all that Alexey Navalny has faced over the past decade, it is quite incredible that his press secretary Kira found the time to write a novel. At the center of the plot is Anya, who finds herself in custody for participating in an anti-corruption rally. But behind bars she encounters not crooks, thieves and murderers, but modern-day ‘Gulag prisoners.’”GQ (Russia)

“A very cool prison novel . . . Really captivating.”taz (Germany)

“Kira Yarmysh has succeeded in creating an empathetic, enraged yet often humorous portrait of Russian society.”—Deutsche Welle (Germany)

“Highly shocking . . . what remains is the hope that the power of this disturbingly current literary work carries it far outside of Russia.”—Tages-Anzeiger (Switzerland)

“Gives a nerve-racking glimpse into Russian prisons . . . We need to know more about our most distant neighbor. Yarmysh’s debut is a good place to start.”—Dagbladet (Norway)

“A clear reminder of how effective a tool fiction can be, how it can give the reader insight into what the world looks like from other points of view.”—Vinduet (Norway)