Synopses & Reviews
An intriguing, fabulously bizarre debut collection of short stories by prize-winning German writer Ingo Schulze, author of Simple Stories.
These thirty-three macabre, often comical short pieces revolve around moments of odd bliss-moments seized by characters who have found ways to conquer the bleakness of everyday life in the chaotic world of post-communist Russia.
Peopled by Mafia gunmen, desperate young prostitutes, bewildered foreign businessmen, and even a trio of hungry devils, the stories are by turns tragic and bleakly funny. From a sly retelling of the legend of St. Nicholas featuring a rich American named Nick, to a lavish gourmet feast in which the young female cook ends up as the main dish, these stories are above all playful and even surreal-and many of them are masterful tributes to Russian writers from Gogol to Nabokov.
Translated by John E. Woods.
"Schulze's sardonic intelligence and feeling for cultural contrasts give these seemingly disparate tales a pleasing unity and coherence." Kirkus Reviews
"While some of these stories would probably perplex or even irritate native Saint Petersburgers, they are probably as close to the soul of this fabled city as an outsider's imagination ever gets. Highly recommended." Library Journal
About the Author
Ingo Schulze, born in Dresden in 1962, studied classical philology at the University of Jena. He worked as the dramaturg at the Altenburg Theater until 1990, and then became a newspaper editor, a job that took him to St. Petersburg for six months in 1993. Since then he has lived in Berlin. His first book, 33 Moments of Happiness
has won both the prestigious Döblin Prize and the Willner Prize for Literature. Three of the stories in this collection have recently appeared in The New Yorker.
From the Hardcover edition.