Cool Russian Books (And Journals)
One of the most interesting journals I’ve heard about recently is Chtenia: Readings from Russia a very well-produced publication that features a wide range of works by Russian authors, from classic authors to new voices. And it includes not just fiction (although they do claim to be the “only regularly published journal of Russian fiction in English translation” which is a bit surprising), but nonfiction, photography, etc. Each issue is themed as well, with recent ones focusing on Nikolai Gogol, the Caucasus, and the holidays.
I highly recommend checking this out, and you can subscribe by clicking here.
In addition to Chtenia, Russian Life magazine (which is responsible for the publication of Chtenia) is also getting into book publishing by releasing Life Stories: Original Fiction by Russian Authors. This anthology collects 19 pieces by contemporary Russian writers—and most of these stories have never appeared in English.
(Full list of authors: Vladimir Voynovich, Andrey Gelasimov, Boris Grebenshchikov, Yevgeny Grishkovets, Victor Yerofeyev, Alexander Kabakov, Eduard Limonov, Dmitry Lipskerov, Sergey Lukyanenko, Vladimir Makanin, Marina Moskvina, Victor Pelevin, Lyudmila Petrushevskaya, Zakhar Prilepin, Dina Rubina, Dunya Smirnova, Vladimir Sorokin, Alexander Khurgin and Leonid Yuzefovich.)
(And because they deserve as much credit as possible, here’s the full list of translators: Alexei Bayer, Michele Berdy, Liv Bliss, Lise Brody, Nora Favorov, Anne O. Fisher, Deborah Hoffman, Marcia Karp, Michael Katz, Peter Morley, Susanna Nazarova, Anna Razumnaya-Seluyanova, Paul E. Richardson, Marian Schwartz, Bela Shayevich and Nina Shevchuk.)
As if that weren’t cool enough, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book will go to benefit Russian hospice. To this end, all royalties were waived and all translation fees were waived.
(And check out this post at the Center for the Art of Translation blog for a bit more info.)
On a related note, in September, Tin House (which has been kicking ass in the international literature department of late, not just with interesting translations, but a lot of good books from South Africa) will release Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia, edited by Mikhail Iossel and Jeff Parker, who also edited Amerika: Russian Writers View the United States a pretty interesting collection we put out at Dalkey some years back.
I’m really curious to check this out, and Margarita Shalina is already planning on reviewing this for the site. But in the meantime, Tin House recently posted the full text of Drill and Song Day by Vladimir Kozlov.
Unfortunately, there’s no table of contents (that I could find anyway—let me know if I’m just blind/impaired), so I’m not sure which other contemporary writers are in this collection . . .
Regardless, lot of great Russian stuff coming out this fall . . .