Alicia and her brother Avi are imprisoned in a camp on the edge of a forest. There, children are trained to forget their language through therapy, coercion, drugs, and larynx surgery. The Leid (or Belarusian language) is considered a perversion or sickness to be cured and replaced by the only pure form of language, the Lingo (Russian). But the children slip away through a hole in the fence. Abducted by their father--who had been performing his own dubious experiments--the siblings soon escape him, too, and set out on their own. Pursued by many, the little boy and girl use an antique map of Germany which leads them closer to a checkpoint--and great danger.
A contemporary Hansel and Gretel tale told in exhilarating, prickly, and slippery prose, Alindarka's Children is a manifesto for the survival of the Belarusian language and soul. A feat of translation, Bacharevic's story is brilliantly rendered into English and Scots from Russian and Belarusian.