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  • Published: 7 June 2018
  • ISBN: 9780141986616
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $28.00

Riot Days

The fierce, thrilling and acclaimed memoir of Maria Alyokhina: artist, protestor, outsider, prisoner, survivor

'Freedom does not exist unless you fight for it every day.'

Maria Alyokhina always wanted to change the system - but, as protests go, this didn't seem like a big deal. One gloomy February morning in 2012, wearing a balaclava, she performed a protest song in Moscow Cathedral with the group Pussy Riot. It only lasted forty seconds. But as a result she was sentenced to two years in one of the hardest prison systems in the world, sent hundreds of miles away, forced to leave her young son and her life behind her. This is the story of what happened. It's a story of endurance and survival, of solidarity and female friendship and, above all, the will never to back down. It's one of the most honest, raw and searing memoirs in years.

  • Published: 7 June 2018
  • ISBN: 9780141986616
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208
  • RRP: $28.00

Praise for Riot Days

Riot Days could so easily have been a straightforward, from-the-horse's-mouth confessional account of one of the most publicised political protests of recent years. Alyokhina takes on a far greater challenge: creating a text that is not just a reflection on a piece of art, but becomes one itself, and one that, in many places, lives up to her own criteria of protest: that it must be "desperate, sudden, and joyous"

Rachel Hewitt, Guardian

Reading: RIOT DAYS, by #PussyRiot member MariaAlyokhina. A women's prison memoir like no other! One tough cookie!


Urgent and bold

Anna Aslanyan, Financial Times

[An] energetic and enjoyable prison diary ... A search for meaningful protest in an age in which presidents often appear to be playful performance artists

Peter Pomerantsev, Spectator

The literary equivalent of guerrilla street art

Marc Bennetts, The Times

Strong, brave, honest, touching, bitter and sad

Vladimir Sorokin, master of contemporary Russian literature

One of the most brilliant and inspiring things I've read in years. Couldn't put it down. This book is freedom

Chris Kraus, author of 'I Love Dick'

In oppressive political systems, some of the most effective weapons are sarcasm and dark humour. It is exactly these weapons that are employed by Masha Alyokhina in the brilliantly written Riot Days. Once you begin reading, you are completely disarmed, unable to put it down until the last page

Marina Abramovic

Alyokhina's eye for surreal detail gives Riot Days a welcome dose of dark humor ... Through the chinks in the abusive system, Alyokhina glimpses human beings

The New York Times Book Review

A future cult classic


Accessible and inspiring

Huck Magazine

Fascinating and important ... What's most striking is its universality

Refinery 29


Livres Hebdo

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