An Anthology of Russian Literature Under Gorbachev
First published in 1990, this anthology brings together fiction by ten writers active during the Russian literary renaissance that began with Gorbachev’s reforming policies in the 1980s. The selection comprises four novellas and seven stories by writers including Mikhail Kuraev, Vladimir Makanin, Valery Popov and Tatyana Tolstaya. With an introduction and brief profiles of the authors.
The Petty Demon
This decadent and very provocative novel by the symbolist writer and poet Fyodor Sologub (1863–1927) narrates the lurid story of Peredonov, a sadistic and generally repellent schoolmaster, descending into madness in his provincial town. Translated and introduced by SD Cioran, along with short critical essays. Slightly off-mint.
Rabbits and Boa Constrictors
Fazil Iskander (1929–2016) was famously described as the ‘Abkhazian Mark Twain’, having a similar sense of humour to the American author. Written in 1989, this novel tells of a struggle between rabbits and boa constrictors – the manipulators and the manipulated trying to function in a failed utopia.
Selected Prose & Poetry
Beginning with Wings (1906), Russia’s first gay-themed novel, this selection of works by Mikhail Kuzmin (1872–1936) includes 13 short stories, two collections of poetry (The Trout Breaks the Ice and Alexandrian Songs) and a play. Translated, edited and introduced by Michael Green.