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Alan Tschertschessow was born in Vladikavkas in Northern Ossetia, Russia, in 1962. He studied Slavic and American studies and completed a doctorate on the subject of mass culture and literature. He is now a lecturer in the department of world cultures at the North Ossetian University of Vladikavkas and chancellor of the Institute of Civilisation there, which he himself founded. In addition, he works as a translator of American literature. He published the first of his own literary texts in the early nineties, mainly short stories and novellas. Although he writes in Russian, Tschertschessow sees himself primarily as an Ossetian author. He made his literary breakthrough with his debut novel "Requiem for a Living Person" (1994; German 1999). The novel tells the story of an orphan boy who settles in a remote Caucasian farming village from various perspectives. The villagers' initial distrust slowly develops into open hatred. His unconventional way of relating to the villagers brings the orphan considerable wealth, but he always remains a stranger. After decades, he leaves the village, whereupon he becomes a legendary character in the stories and memories recounted by the villagers. Tschertschessow's epos is a call for tolerance, for a creative consideration of all things, both strange and unfamiliar. The author consciously avoids placing himself among the ranks of the contemporary post-modernists with this novel, seeking instead for connections with the 19th century, with the great Russian storytellers Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy, but also with Faulkner, Camus or García Márquez.

Publications in German translation
Requiem für einen Lebenden. Translated from the Russian by Annelore Nitschke. S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1999
Ein Kranz für das Grab des Windes. Translated from the Russian by Annelore Nitschke. DVA, Munich, 2003
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