Author(s): Erika Fatland
Living next door to Russia - a cultural encounter with each of its neighbours.
An extraordinary odyssey through the fourteen countries that border Russia today
From North Korea into China, through former Soviet states and breakaway republics in Asia and the Caucasus, crossing the Caspian and Black Seas, northwards to Europe, into the Arctic Circle and through the icy waters of the Northeast Passage, Erika Fatland travels alone and explores the rich, diverse and often dramatic histories and scarred landscapes of these bordering nations.
Along her twenty-thousand-kilometre journey, she meets survivors of interminable wars and indiscriminate deportations, and some communities still nostalgic for Soviet times. She drinks tea with a reindeer nomad in Mongolia and encounters displaced Ingushetians in Kazakhstan; she meets a history professor-turned-tank driver in Ukraine and tours the vestiges of Chernobyl. She hears an extraordinary story of endurance from one of the last survivors of the Minsk Ghetto, and learns that the area of Russia that borders Norway, her own country, is the most polluted place in the world. The Border is the log of an unmatchable journey, and offers vivid portraits of cultures and individuals living at the limits of this dominant land mass.