Russian novelist targeted in extremism probe

27th October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russia is investigating the acclaimed detective novelist Boris Akunin for extremism, the author said on Thursday on his blog.

Akunin, whose period novels about detective Ernest Fandorin have been translated into numerous languages, posted a scan of a letter from the Investigative Committee summoning his publisher for questioning on Friday.

The letter from a senior investigator in Moscow said a person named as A.M. Voevodin had reported his recent novel "All the World's a Stage" as containing "statements of an extremist character," without giving more details.

"Well, that's it, my life of crime seems to have come to an end," Akunin, whose real name is Grigory Chkhartishvili, wrote in an ironic message on his blog.

"I can't take it seriously, but I'm glad the book has got new readers," he told Kommersant FM radio station.

Publishing house director Irina Bogat told Kommersant FM: "I think they haven't even read the book", noting the investigator's letter asked for a copy.

Possibly joking, Chkhartishvili said in his blog he believed he had identified the offending passage, giving a page number.

Readers of the blog found a quote from a character saying that Russians are unsubtle and can't tell the difference between different types of Japanese noodles. The author is a professional translator from Japanese.

Chkhartishvili has supported liberal opposition to the Kremlin and interviewed jailed oil company founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky by correspondence for the Russian version of Esquire.

© 2011 AFP

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