Valia's Night

Amat-Piniella Award (Spain), 2014

La noche de Valia
Ediciones Destino, Barcelona, 2013
La nit de Valia
Edicions Proa, Barcelona, 2013

‘In this splendid novel based on a tnue story, through Valya’s eyes, Monika Zgustova explains the truth about the Soviet concentration camps, in which not only men but a very large number of women were also imprisoned.’

The La Razon newspaper has chosen ‘Valya’s Night’ as its
Book of the Week, with a nine star rating.’
La Razon, 3.4.2013

El PaĆ­s

Ara newspaper


During the Second World War, in the Soviet city of Arkhangelsk, Valya, a student of the Bolshoi Theater, meets Bill, a marine from the US Navy. They fall in love and have a baby, Bella. When the war is over, Bill has to leave. A year after his departure, Vaya ‘s arrested as an “enemy of the people”. After a short trial, she is accused of being a pro American spy and is sent to a northern Gulag where she is obliged to cut trees and build a railroad, without having news from either Bill or Bella. For ten years, Valya remains in the forced labor Camp. After she is set free, she tries to pick up the life she had before her imprisonment, but nobody wants to give a job to an ex-political prisoner. Then Bill, who has been trying to find her all this time, travels from Baltimore to Moscow. The gap between their respective experiences is too wide, though, and both of them find it difficult to relate to each other. Yet they by vet)’ hard and end up in a mutual understanding. That’s when the KGB agents get in their way…
The novel is based upon a true story about a punishment without a crime, and about the humiliation of Soviet women.