Alexei Navalny’s memoir due to be published posthumously in October | Books

Alexei Navalny’s memoir due to be published posthumously in October | Books

A memoir by the late Russian politician Alexei Navalny is due to be published this autumn, publisher Penguin Random House (PRH) has announced.

The Russian opposition leader and pro-democracy campaigner began writing his book, titled Patriot, shortly after his poisoning in 2020. He completed it before he died in prison in 2024, dictating some parts.

His widow, Yulia Navalnaya, has been working with editors to bring the book to publication. She described it as “a testament not only to Alexei’s life, but to his unwavering commitment to the fight against dictatorship – a fight he gave everything for, including his life.” She hopes that readers will “come to know the man [she] loved deeply – a man of profound integrity and unyielding courage.”

“Sharing his story will not only honour his memory but also inspire others to stand up for what is right and to never lose sight of the values that truly matter”, she added.

Patriot is Navalny’s only memoir, and covers his early life through to his marriage, political career and activism. The book “expresses Navalny’s total conviction that change cannot be resisted and will come”, according to Vintage, the division of PRH that is publishing Patriot in the UK.

“In vivid, page-turning detail, including never-before-seen correspondence from prison, Navalny recounts, among other things … the many attempts on his life, and on the lives of the people closest to him, and the relentless campaign he and his team waged against an increasingly dictatorial regime”, the publisher added.

Navalny, who began his career as a lawyer, went on to become Russia’s most prominent anti-government campaigner and President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest critic. He was founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation and was awarded the European Union’s Sakharov prize for “individuals, groups and organisations that have made an outstanding contribution to protecting freedom of thought” in 2021.

In 2013 and 2014 Navalny received suspended sentences for embezzlement, charges he said were fabricated to thwart his political ambitions. He ran in the 2013 Moscow mayoral election and came in second with 27% of the vote but was barred from running in the 2018 presidential election. In August 2020, he was sent to a hospital in Berlin after being poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent. Navalny accused Putin of being responsible for his poisoning.

In 2021, he returned to Russia and was detained on accusations of violating parole conditions while in Germany. In 2022, he was sentenced to nine years in a maximum security penal colony after being found guilty of large-scale fraud and contempt, in a trial described as a sham by Amnesty International. In August 2023, he was sentenced to an additional 19 years in prison. On 16 February 2024, the Russian prison service reported that Navalny had died at the age of 47.

Patriot will be published on 22 October by Vintage in the UK and Knopf in the US.

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