States of delusion

Paranoia, Victor Martinovich’s debut novel is banned in his home country of Belarus–is it worth the fuss?

By David Anderson  

Belarus: Europe's last dictatorship

If not quite a whirlwind, Victor Martinovich’s debut novel Paranoia has certainly stirred up a few gusts of interest, not least with the Belarusian state authorities. After two days in the bookshops in 2009, it disappeared. A story of doomed love and police-surveillance set against the backdrop of a lightly fictionalised Minsk, the book has now resurfaced in an English translation by Diane Nemec Ignashev, published by Northwestern University Press.

Making the most of its publication history, the English…

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