In “The Dead Wander in the Desert,” we see the final, painful days of the Soviet Union, juxtaposed with the final, painful days of the Aral Sea, as a once-bountiful land dries up and turns to a poisonous, salt-filled desert. The characters in the book fight to preserve the sea, but in vain: the central […]Read more "#TranslationThursday: “The Dead Wander in the Desert” by Rollan Seisenbayev"
“The Slynx” is one of those works that kept circulating on the edge of my reading consciousness. People were always bringing it up in conversation as something that, of course, we’d all read. Except that I hadn’t. So I finally decided to rectify this error and fill this lacuna in my reading knowledge. Let’s get […]Read more "#TranslationThursday “The Slynx” by Tatyana Tolstaya"
Probably the Russian literature event of the year in the English-speaking world has been the publication of the English translation of Vasily Grossman’s “Stalingrad,” the first part of his two-part series about the battle of Stalingrad that concludes with “Life and Fate.” Me reading “Life and Fate” for my PhD comps while camping out on […]Read more "“Stalingrad” by Vasily Grossman, Translated by Robert Chandler"
Bloody Creek Murder I’ve been following along the Winston Radhauser series since the beginning, and have been enjoying it more and more. In this, its sixth installment, the author does a particularly excellent job of combining mystery with family drama. The mixture both brings out the pathos of the interpersonal situation the characters find themselves […]Read more "“Bloody Creek Murder” by Susan Clayton-Goldner #Mystery #BookReview #NewRelease"
Fasten your seatbelts, Russianists: it’s about to get weird. Well, maybe no weirder than usual for literature of this period. Russian literature of the early 20th century was gloriously, insanely bizarre. Writers were flying their freak flag high, and reveling in it. “Beyond Tula” is a case in point. Although in fact, it’s no weirder […]Read more "“Beyond Tula: A Soviet Pastoral” by Andrei Egunov-Nikolev"
I think most of us horse people have harbored fantasies of taking off across country on horseback. John Egenes actually did it. “Man and Horse” is the story, told by John himself, of how he, as a callow 24-year-old, and his Quarter Horse Gizmo, as an even more callow 4-year-old, rode from California to Virginia […]Read more "“Man and Horse” by John Egenes"
The popularity of post-apocalyptic fiction is an interesting facet of the current literary landscape. Why this? Why now? Some aspects of it are self-explanatory. It’s the perfect way to set the adolescents in a YA novel free from adult/parental restraints, in a kind of modern desert island scenario. In a time when desert islands are […]Read more "“Some Fine Day” by Kat Ross"