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.
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.
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.
An Ordinary Story
Including the Stage Adaptation of the Novel by Viktor Rozov
Ivan Goncharov’s novel, published in 1847, tells the story of a romantic young man from the provinces who moves to St Petersburg in search of love and a career. This edition includes a stage adaptation by Victor Rozov. Translated by Marjorie L Hoover. Slightly off-mint.
and Other Stories
This collection of six stories, first published in 1988, offers an introduction to the fiction of Boris Pilnyak (1894–1937), whose work – revolutionary in both style and subject matter – eventually led to his death sentence in Stalin’s USSR. Translated by Vera T Reck and Michael Green.
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.
Manuscripts Don't Burn
Mikhail Bulgakov: A Life in Letters and Diaries
Mikhail Bulgakov (1871–1940), is best known as the author of The Master and Margarita, a novel written in the 1930s and unpublished in full until 1973. Like his writings, details of Bulgakov’s life remained inaccessible for decades. Published in 1991, this book brings together letters to and from the writer, and his diaries from the 1920s and the period 1933–40, providing a vivid account of what it was like to be a writer in Stalin’s Soviet Union.