White God Factor
A novel set in the frenetic gold rush of post-communist Russia before its all-too brief taste of raw capitalism collapses in the great economic crash of 1998. The brilliant but volatile Godunev, a former Moscow kiosk worker, returns from New York and Miami hoping to make a quick fortune while the country’s assets are still up for grabs. Using his hipster credentials to infiltrate Moscow’s aspirational emerging super-rich “biznismen” scene, he gets caught up in machinations to privatize the Kremlin, and eventually finds himself out of his depths in a Russia of oligarchs, gangsters, models and prostitutes that is hurtling towards its own demise. But amidst the violence, callousness and audacity of the time, Gudonev also reflects many of his countrymen’s sentiments: the passion of relationships; the extremities of life; a re-assertion of Russian culture; and a pervasive love-hate relationship with the US and the West.
About the author:
Vijai Maheshwari is an Indian-American writer who has really lived in post-Communist Eastern Europe since the early 1990s. He started a writers’ workshop in Prague, was editor-in-chief of Russian Playboy, a correspondent for Britain’s Financial Times and Moscow’s infamous alternative paper, the eXile. He played chess with 1996 Presidential candidate General Lebed before he was killed in a plane crash, and helped cult writer Victor Pelevin overcome substance abuse. He is the founder and editor of B-East, Eastern Europe’s provocative lifestyles and fashion glossy, and now lives in Kiev. Before arriving in Eastern Europe, he studied Physics under iconic scientist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman.