Penguin Random House | Munich, 11/17/2023

Blanvalet To Publish Bestseller Banned In Russia

Subject: Society
Country: Germany
Category: Project

They celebrated a sensational success with their book; however, such stories are not tolerated in Russia: in “Summer in a Pioneer Tie”, authors Elena Malisova and Katerina Silvanova tell a story about a homosexual couple. The novel was banned in Russia, and the authors had to leave the country. In March 2024, Blanvalet will publish the book in German under the title “Du und ich und der Sommer”.

In 2021, Elena Malisova and Katerina Silvanova published “Summer in a Pioneer Tie”, a novel about a homosexual couple that became a sensational success in Russia and went viral on Tiktok. However, the book has since been banned, and the authors had to leave the country. On March 2024, the Penguin Random House Verlagsgruppe publisher Blanvalet will publish the novel in German under the title “Du und ich und der Sommer”.

“Summer in a Pioneer Tie”, the first book of a trilogy, landed at Number One on the Russian fiction bestseller list in the first half of 2022 with more than 300,000 copies sold and accumulating more than 450 million views on Tiktok. However, the book was not only banned soon thereafter and rated “LGBTQ propaganda” but, according to industry experts, also contributed to the extreme tightening of Russian legislation against “LGBTQ propaganda”. Elena Malisova fled to Germany, while Katerina Silvanova returned to Ukraine.

“Everybody should hear this message”

The story about Yura and Volodya, who fall in love in a Soviet summer camp for pioneers in 1986 but then go their separate ways, moved many readers. The authors sensitively and touchingly write about a special love story between two men, set in a country where being different is still against law to this day and books that deal with the topic are banned.

Nicole Geismann, Publishing Director Blanvalet, says: “Sometimes a book convinces not only because it tells a good story but because it also carries a message that all of us who are working on this book want to send to as many people as possible. ‘Du und ich und der Sommer’ is such a book, co-written by a Ukrainian and a Russian author which tells about romantic love and a demand for freedom. Everybody should hear this message.”