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Russia vs. Algeria [World Cup of Literature: First Round]

This match was judged by Chris Schaefer. For more info on the World Cup of Literature, read this, and download the bracket. This first-round match pits a futuristic fantasy of reborn Russian czardom against a present-day fantasy of repressed Algerian Islamism in Paris. Male author against female. Slav against Arab. ...

Ice Trilogy

Back a few years ago, New York Review Books released Ice, one of the first books by Russian literati bad boy Vladimir Sorokin to make its way into America. After all the hype surrounding Sorokin—for being the star of post-Glasnost Russian literature, for being well hated by the Putin Youth, for writing fairly offensive ...

Latest Review: "Ice Trilogy" by Vladimir Sorokin

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is an insane piece that I wrote about Vladimir Sorokin’s Ice Trilogy, which is translated from the Russian by Jamey Gambrell and available from New York Review Books. I am aware of how crazily self-indulgent and odd this review is, but after writing about Sorokin so many ...

Day of the Oprichnik

Set in a futuristic Moscow (2028 according to the jacket copy), Day of the Oprichnik is exactly that: a day in the life of Andrei Danilovich Komiaga. The oprichniki were essentially a cultish “death squad” that was set up by Tsar Ivan the Terrible back in the mid 1500s to protect his ass and slay his enemies, and ...

Latest Review: "Day of the Oprichnik" by Vladimir Sorokin

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece that I wrote on Vladimir Sorokin’s Day of the Oprichnik, which just came out from FSG in Jamey Gambrell’s translation. Since this is a day of Sorokin (the event write-up, the discussion in the podcast), I’m going to skip all the normal author and ...

Vladimir Sorokin's Coming Out Party

As mentioned on last week’s podcast, and further elaborated on in this week’s one (BTW, you can subscribe to the Three Percent podcast at iTunes), Vladimir Sorokin was one of the authors I was most interested in seeing at the PEN World Voices Festival. Way back when, I read his short, early novel The Queue in a ...

New York Review Books Has an Amazing Forthcoming List

I’ve been a huge fan of NYRB for years. I think I even have copies of the first twelve/thirteen books in those very unfortunately designed covers. Every season I drool when their catalog arrives. I’ve been planning a post for weeks entitled “Albert Cossery is Effing Awesome,” which is due in part to ...