Synopses & Reviews
Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia
showcases the work of Russian writers born in the twentieth century whose entire adult lives have been spent in post-Soviet circumstances. These stories show the range of aesthetics and subject matter the young generation of Russian writers is working with and fall broadly into the category of what is sometimes referred to as the New Russian Realism.
Among those presented in this anthology are winners and finalists for Russia's most prestigious literary awards, such as the Debut, the Eureka, the Russian Booker, and the National Bestseller. Some of the authors included have already published several books, while others are new discoveries. Many of the stories were published in distinguished journals and magazines, and most appear here in English for the first time. Contributors include Ashot Arhakyan, Marianna Geide, Vadim Kalinin, and Anna Starobinets.
"The current state of Russian identity artistic, political, social and beyond is vigorously examined in this anthology, offering readers a multifaceted portrait of the complex nation, from short, poetic pieces like Oleg Zobern's 'Bregovich's Sixth Journey,' to nearly journalistic narratives like Arkady Babchenko's powerful and harrowing remembrance of the Chechen war ('The Diesel Stop'). The dreams and fears of young and old are included Roman Senchin's 'History' follows a retired and politically indifferent professor who gets caught up in a mass arrest of protesters and subsequently must wake up to the oppressive realities of his country, and Anna Starobinet's 'Rules' is a whimsical and poignant sketch of a frighteningly perceptive boy. The editors point out that the stories 'fall broadly into the category of what can be referred to as New Russian Realism.' This realism, though, leaves plenty of room for surreal and dryly humorous perspectives (such as Kirill Ryabov's 'Spit' and Vadim Kalinin's 'The Unbelievable and Tragic Story of Misha Shtrikov and His Cruel Wife'). This is a truly diverse series of revelations." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
, which means stories in Russian, is rich with detail and hard-edged beauty. It is full of brutality and the poignancy that comes of living through hard times. This collection should enable this crop of modern authors to step out of the literary shadows. It's time for their turn in the sun." Katie Schneider, The Oregonian
(read the entire Oregonian review
Few countries have undergone more radical transformations than Russia has since the fall of the Soviet Union. The stories in Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia present twenty-three depictions of the new Russia from its most talented young writers. Selected from the pages of the top Russian literary magazines and written by winners of the most prestigious literary awards, most of these stories appear here in English for the first time.
Featuring some of Russia's most prestigious post-Soviet writers, Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia portrays the range of aesthetics and subject matter faced by a generation that never knew Communism.
"What's new is the rhythm and snap of the hip, modern, contemporary voices that we would expect to hear rattling into a cell phone in the booth next to ours, and the rendering of that voice into an English that's as idiomatic and confident as we imagine these speakers to be. . . . How fortunate we are . . . that we now have Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia
— from the introduction by Francine Prose
About the Author
Jeff Parker is the author of the novel Ovenman and the collection The Back of the Line and the coeditor of Amerika: Russian Writers View the United States. He served as the program director of Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia, and is currently the acting director of the Master's Program in the Field of Creative Writing at the University of Toronto.