Tears of a Komsomol Girl by Audrey Szasz
Illustrated by Karolina Urbaniak
Interview conducted by Martin Bladh
Tears of a Komsomol Girl is an experimental concept novel based on the real-life crimes of Soviet serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, who was finally executed in 1994 having been convicted of murdering 52 people between 1978 and 1990.
USSR, Rostov, 1980s. Arina, a young girl — insolent, obnoxious, but most importantly musically gifted, poses as the ideal student — upstanding, hardworking, and a member of Komsomol — the Soviet Union’s Communist Youth League. Fantasising unrealistically about becoming an internationally famous classical violinist, and yet simultaneously behaving as cynically and hypocritically as she can, Arina uses her Komsomol duties as a pretext for strutting unsupervised around town of an evening, fraternising with soldiers and Party bureaucrats alike, compulsively lying to cover her tracks. And yet her sleep is punctuated by obsessive and oppressive dreams concerning a certain killer who’s been on the loose for years — a ruthless, sadistic and thoroughly vicious opportunist referred to in rumours as Citizen X, the Rostov Ripper, or simply Satan — a monster who brutally slays children and adolescents having assaulted them at knifepoint. As the killings become ever more tortuous and frenzied, and the number of innocent victims tragically swells, it’s only a matter of time before Arina finally crosses paths with Satan, and her nightmares turn into a reality.
Tears of a Komsomol Girl
Out 10 December 2020
Hardbound, 212 pages, 148 x206mm
First edition limited to 200 copies.