Siberia 1919. In the outer reaches of a country recently torn apart by civil war live a small Christian sect and its enigmatic leader, Balashov. Stationed nearby is a regiment of Czech soldiers, desperate to get home but on the losing side if the recent conflict. Uncertainty prevails. Into this isolated community trudges Samarin, an escapee from Russia's northernmost gulag. Immediately apprehended, he is brought before Captain Matula, the regiment's megalomaniac commander. But the stranger's arrival gas also caught the attention of others, including Anna, a beautiful young war widow. And when the local Shaman lies dead, suspicion and terror engulf the little town...James Meek's novel is a breathtaking contemporary fable staged against one if the most remote landscapes on earth. The remarkable cast of characters and Meek's uncanny ability to evoke the period bring to mind the work of the great Russian masters. The People's Act of Love is a magnificent piece of storytelling, an unforgettable novel and a deeply satisfying read.
James Meek has published two novels, Mcfarlane Boils The Sea and Drivetime, two collections of short stories, Last Orders and The Museum Of Doubt and has contributed to the acclaimed Rebel Inc. anthologies Children Of Albion Rovers and Rovers Return. He has worked as a newspaper reporter since 1985 and lived in the former Soviet Union from 1991 to 1999. He now lives in London, where he writes for the Guardian, and contributes to the London Review of Books and Granta. In 2004 his reporting from Iraq and about Guantanamo Bay won numerous British and international awards.