The Monastery Zakhar Prilepin “Humanity is dark and terrifying, but the world is human and warm.” So ends Zakhar Prilepin’s massive historical novel “The Monastery” (Обитель), about the Solovki monastery-turned-prison-camp, the seed of the GULAG system. Following the fortunes of Artyom Goryainov, a prisoner in the camp, the novel charts all the aspects of prison […]Read more "“The Monastery” (Обитель) by Zakhar Prilepin"
Well, it was a close one this week, with the Carolinas getting hit unexpectedly hard by Hurricane Michael. Luckily for me, I was not one of the hundreds of thousands of people to lose power, which means I have been spending my fall break busily working away to get The Dreaming Land II ready for publication. I’m […]Read more "Racing like Wolves: Writing Medieval Russian Epics into Contemporary Fantasy"
The Swan Princess C.P. Lesley In “The Swan Princess,” we meet a new Nasan from the once introduced in “The Golden Lynx“: one who’s a little bit older and a lot sadder after the miscarriage of her first pregnancy. She still finds living under her mother-in-law’s rules to be intolerable, she still finds her sister-in-law […]Read more "“The Swan Princess” by C.P. Lesley"
Comrade Criminal: Russia’s New Mafiya Stephen Handleman Have you ever wondered, sitting back on the other side of the ocean and most of a continent, and getting your news from sources that don’t actually know what they’re talking about, why Russia is the way it is today? Why corruption flourishes and Putin is so popular? […]Read more "“Comrade Criminal” by Stephen Handleman"
The Five Daughters of the Moon Leena Likitalo It’s exciting to me to see how many authors are out there writing Russian-themed fantasy. “The Five Daughters of the Moon” is a recent addition to this sub-genre. The setting is clearly an allusion to the Russian Empire just prior to the 1917 Revolution, but the setting […]Read more "“The Five Daughters of the Moon” by Leena Likitalo"
Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov B.B. Kudryavtsev Without MV Lomonosov, there would probably no Russian literature as we currently know it. And in general, the intellectual landscape of Russian culture would probably be quite different. A fascinating figure, Lomonosov worked tirelessly throughout his life to usher in new ideas in subjects as varied as poetry and phlogiston. […]Read more "“The Life and Works of Mikhail Vasilyevich Lomonosov” by B.B. Kudryavtsev"
Russia’s Lomonosov: Chemist, Courtier, Physicist, Poet Boris N. Menshutkin Russian literature didn’t come into its own until partway through the 19th century. But already in the 18th century it was laying the ground for its later flourishing through the actions of people of genius, whose writing was groundbreaking for its time and whose lives were […]Read more "“Russia’s Lomonosov” by Boris Menshutkin"