Skip to main content

Letters to Another Room
Click to enlarge

Letters to Another Room

ISBN ISBN 978-1-898823-04-9

Ravil Bukharaev


This is a beautiful translation by John Farndon (with Olga Nakston) of the late Ravil Bukharaev’s literary existential novel memoir in which he explains to his wife how his Muslim faith and ideals influenced both his love for her and his understanding of life and self, particularly his quest for truth and ‘authenticity’. Throughout their long marriage, the writers and poets Ravil Bukharaev and Lydia Grigorieva had written in separate rooms in their home. In this deeply-felt and poetic memoir, Ravil writes to Lydia in order to try explain (at last) things left unsaid over the years. With immense honesty and insight, he explores how their journey together has been shaped by his profound Muslim beliefs and his lifelong search for what is authentic and true. Along the way, he creates finely defined and moving vignettes of eight very different people struggling to find meaning in their lives, from old Elizaveta Osipovna, alone in her Moscow flat, to proud Arzhana coping with a tough life in the Altai mountains.

Ravil Bukharaev (1951-2012) was a celebrated Tatar writer, poet and scholar of religious, cultural and political history of his native Tatarstan and author of over thirty books. Born in Kazan, the capital, in 1992 he left Russia and moved to London with his artist/poet wife Lydia Grigorieva in 1992 and subsequently joined the BBC World Service. Latterly, following early retirement, he committed himself to supporting a number of UNESCO projects.