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Literalab’s Best Books of 2014: ‘The Devil is a Black Dog’

Sándor Jászberényi’s debut story collection came out too late in the year to make it onto any of the prestigious ‘Best of’ lists, many of which were already out before its December publication. Besides, most of the translated writing that made it onto these lists were the books that had already received the most buzz […]

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Literalab’s Best Books of 2014: ‘Sankya’

“Prilepin has not merely turned inside out the consciousness of the entire post-Perestroika generation of politicized young Russians and laid it bare, but he also, in large part, predicted the patterns of development of radical political groups and the government’s strategy in combatting them.” This is from Alexei Navalny’s introduction to Sankya by Zakhar Prilepin, […]

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Best Fiction of 2011: a Central and Eastern European roundup

A selection of fiction from the Czech Republic to Russia noted by critics in the year’s “Best of” lists The “Best of” lists that come out at the end of the year tend to confirm received opinion for the most part and so it is not a big surprise that translated fiction does not make […]

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Arthur Koestler: 20th Century Man

It is “best reads of the year” time, so for this Best Reads I am writing about one of the best books I read in 2011. Koestler: The Indispensable Intellectual by Michael Scammell (The US edition is titled Koestler: The Literary and Political Odyssey of a Twentieth-Century Skeptic) In the early decades of the 20th […]

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The Degaev Affair: Terror and Treason in Tsarist Russia

The first installment of literalab: Best Reads, in which sometimes neglected books from and about Central and Eastern Europe are put in the spotlight they deserve .. The Degaev Affair That reality is stranger than fiction must once have been an original and thought-provoking point. Today, it is taken for granted, a cliché even, leaving […]

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