Outtake – Siberia, A Cultural History
The brief from my publisher said ‘about 80,000 words’. I gave him much more than that and he only mildly protested. But a couple of pages from the Lake Baikal chapter did end up on the cutting room floor because they didn’t really fit in with the rest. Use it somewhere else, he suggested. He was probably right. So here it is, a description of some hikers from Moscow whose company I enjoyed on a boat ride to Bukhta Peschanaya (Sandy Bay), one of Baikal’s prettiest beaches.
Read the outtake
In the Press – Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald/The Age
“Haywood takes Siberia region by region, offers excellent and detailed histories larded with interesting quotes from famous writers and travellers (Dostoyevsky’s descriptions of Siberia, where he was imprisoned for four years, are particularly depressing and graphic).
“This book is enjoyable and hugely informative for the armchair traveller and valuable for anyone planning to venture across this vast, mysterious land which is, as Haywood points out, significantly larger than Australia.”
In the Press – Images of Siberia in post-Soviet Writings (Sindhu Janardhan)
“This paper reviews post-Soviet and contemporary representations of Siberia in three different genres: cultural histories, nature writing and travel writing. Of the many works that record the history of Siberia, two recent ethno-histories are particularly significant: the Siberian writer Valentin Rasputin’s Siberia, Siberia (English translation published in 1996) and the Australian author A. J. Haywood’s Siberia: A Cultural History (published in 2010). Both these works take into account the major milestones of Siberian history from the origins of Siberia (as a place inhabited by indigenous peoples) to the present day, with the question of Siberia’s future existence in a globalized world made more problematic in the post-Soviet era.”