New and Novel

A Brezhnev era satire of Soviet repression, a book of short stories revolving around the siege of Sarajevo and poems from “Perhaps the most famous Russian poet of the twentieth century. ” In other words, beach reading.

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Poems of Osip Mandelstam

Peter France writes in his foreword: “I have always been conscious that Mandelstam was an outstanding figure, arguably the outstanding Russian poet of the twentieth century. This is a personal selection from the poetry — poems that for one reason or another I wanted to translate. I have tried to make it reasonably representative of different strands and periods in his work, with a certain stress on the brilliant and fragmentary Voronezh poems.”

Translated from the Russian by Peter France

Published by New Directions

Read more about the book here

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Death in the Museum of Modern Art by Alma Lazarevska

A tender and revealing set of stories by the uniquely delicate Bosnian writer, Alma Lazarevska. Avoiding the easy traps of politics and blame, Lazarevska reveals a world full of incidents and worries so similar to our own, and yet always under the shadow of the snipers and the bombs that we know are out there and that occasionally impinge on the story in shocking ways. One of the finest works to have emerged from the tragedy that was the siege of Sarajevo.

Translated from the Bosnian by Celia Hawkesworth

Published by Istros Books

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9780300159868

 

Walpurgis Night, or the Steps of the Commander by Venedikt Erofeev

Walpurgis Night, by acclaimed Russian writer Venedikt Erofeev, is considered a classic in the playwright’s homeland. Erofeev’s dark and funny five-act satire of Soviet repression has been called the comic high-water mark of the Brezhnev era. Walpurgis Night dramatizes the outrageous trials of Lev Isakovich Gurevich, an alcoholic half-Jewish dissident poet confined by the state to a hospital for the insane. In “Ward 3”—a microcosm of repressive Soviet society—Gurevich deploys his brilliant wit and ingenuity to bedevil his jailers, defend his fellow inmates, protest his incarceration, and generally create mayhem, which ultimately leads to a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions.

Translated from the Russian by Marian Schwartz

Published by Yale University Press

Read more about the book here

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Categories: Books

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