Translation: ‘An Epistle from God’ by Yeremei Aipin

Oliver Taslic


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Yeremei Aipin (b. 1948) is Russia’s foremost Khanty author. The Khanty, sometimes known as the Ostyaks, are an indigenous people in west Siberia and number about 30,000. Among other things, they are notable for their role in the Kazym rebellion (c. 1931-34), which was the last known conflict between the Soviet authorities and an indigenous Siberian people, and upon which the following story touches. Although many of Aipin’s works are available in other languages, he has not been widely published in English. The British Library, for example, stocks just one such book. The following translation of ‘An Epistle from God’ (1990), an accessible, entertaining, and thoughtful short story, seeks to change this. It is worth mentioning that the following translation has been slightly abridged (the first two chapters have been redacted), and that it was translated from the original Russian, not from Khanty (although the Khanty language is mentioned in the story).


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