Press Release: We
Translated by Clarence Brown
Introduced by Ursula K. Le Guin
Illustrated by Kit Russell
‘The best single work of science fiction yet written’
Written in 1921 and banned in its native Russia until 1988, We is an intense dystopian satire, fearlessly excoriating the very concept of censorship and predicting the rise of Stalinism. This seminal book inspired a wave of science fiction including Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four, the latter of whose author, George Orwell, admired Zamyatin’s ‘intuitive grasp of the irrational side of totalitarianism’.
We was described by Ursula K. Le Guin, in a 1973 essay as ‘the best single work of science fiction yet written’ and this new Folio edition features a lenticular design for the binding and slipcase and series of ethereal monochromatic illustrations by Kit Russell which call to mind that other science-fiction icon, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.
In the far-future society of OneState, happiness has been reduced to an equation: remove freedom and choice, and create contentment for all. Celebrated mathematician D-503 embraces the rule of the all-powerful Benefactor until the beautiful and mysterious I-330 comes into his life. A dangerous revolutionary, she throws the strict rhythms of his existence into chaos, and soon D-503 finds himself diagnosed with that most degrading of ancient diseases – the ownership of a soul.
Zamyatin, whose passionate devotion to freedom of thought is embedded in the text, had a troubled relationship with his own country. He was beaten and imprisoned by the Tsarist regime, and persecuted again by the Bolsheviks when they came to power. Although initially a supporter of the revolution, he had misgivings about the new government’s more extreme policies, eventually requesting exile in 1931. When this masterpiece was banned by the Soviet Censorship Board for being ‘ideologically undesirable’, Zamyatin had it smuggled to the West, where it was translated into English and found an eager audience.
Bound in paper printed with a design by the artist. Set in PT Serif with Wells Grosteque display. 240 pages. 7 full-page black & white illustrations. Lenticular slipcase/binding. 9½˝ x 6¼˝.
UK £36.95 US $54.95 Can $74.95 Aus $74.95
For media enquiries please contact
UK & ROW Sandie Maylor, Cherish PR
020 3626 0282,
US & Canada Cathleen P. Williamson