Tatiana Alexeyevna is 90 years old and she’s losing her memory. To find her way in her Soviet-era apartment block, she resorts to painting red crosses on the doors leading back to her apartment. But she still remembers the past in vivid detail.
Alexander, a young man whose life has been brutally torn in two, would like nothing better than to forget the tragic events that have brought him to Minsk. When he moves into the flat next door to Tatiana’s, he’s cornered by the loquacious old lady. Reluctant at first, he’s soon drawn into Tatiana’s life story. A story told urgently, before her memories of the Russian 20th century, and its horrors, are wiped out.
The two come to recognize their own broken hearts in each other, forging an unlikely friendship, a pact against forgetting, their encounter giving rise to a new sense of hope in the future. Deeply moving, with flashes of humour, underpinned by ground-breaking research, Red Crosses is a shining narrative in the tradition of the great Russian novel. All the more necessary, as the Russia of today goes about the business of rewriting history.
Sasha Filipenko was born in Minsk. After abandoning his classical music training, he studied literature and worked as a journalist and screenwriter. A passionate football fan, he lives with his family in St. Petersburg.