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A Small, Stubborn Town (Hardback)Andrew Harding (author)
Viewing the Ukraine war through the prism of one town's heroic resistance, Harding draws on a polyphony of ordinary townspeople's voices to tell a short, sharp and immensely powerful story.
The Russians are invading. But the locals have a plan.
It's March 2022 and Russian tanks are roaring across the vast, snow-dusted fields of Ukraine. Their destination: Voznesensk, a town with a small bridge that could change the course of the war.
The heavily-armed Russians are expecting an easy fight - or no fight at all. After all, Voznesensk is a quiet farming town, full of pensioners. But the locals appear to have other ideas.
Svetlana, a grandmother with arthritis, reacts in fury when Russian troops turn her cottage into their blood-soaked headquarters. Valentin, a quick-talking lawyer, joins the town's 'Dads Army' defenders, crouching in a trench with an AK47. Meanwhile, 21-year-old Sergei grabs a Molotov cocktail and lies in wait for Russian tanks as they push towards Dead Water Bridge.
The odds are terrible. But a plan is emerging, and there's a chance it could save not just Voznesensk, but the rest of southern Ukraine. Meanwhile, inside the tanks, an inner battle rages. As Russian officer Igor Rudenko prepares to invade, he has a secret. He is Ukrainian himself.
A gripping work of reportage that tells the story of a pivotal moment in Ukraine's war, this is a real-life thriller about ordinary people facing extraordinary circumstances with resilience, humour and ingenuity.
Publisher: Bonnier Books Ltd
Number of pages: 160
Weight: 285 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 20 mm
'Harding recreates the fighting blow by-blow ... [and] the personalities of his interviewees come to life' - The Telegraph
'Riveting and vividly written... this gripping story is the literary equivalent of a superb miniature painting' - The Observer
'Extraordinary; filled with a deep sense of enduring humanity. Immensely powerful, timely and real.' - Philippe Sands, author of East West Street
'It would be wonderful if the story told in this beautiful little book were the author's invention. But alas, the story itself is pure truth. Andrew Harding's characters invite the reader into their daily struggle which we witness with awe and empathy. We are touched by their courage and dignity - qualities that the author must surely have possessed in equal measure to record these extraordinary events.' - Andrey Kurkov
'A piercing book: the story of extraordinary heroism by ordinary people, and an accessible, limpid account of what battle is actually like.' - James Meek
'This gripping account is the Russian invasion of Ukraine in microcosm.' - Lindsey Hilsum
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