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Sofia Gubaidulina
September 01, 2021

Sofia Gubaidulina

By Tamara Eidelman

Listening to the intensely chromatic compositions of Sofia Gubaidulina can be challenging. You wouldn’t put her music on to relax or to be energized. As with any avant-garde work, taking it in can feel like work.

First Contact
September 01, 2021

First Contact

By Tamara Eidelman

It is astonishing to think that as recently as the eighteenth century – not the Middle Ages, not the days of Marco Polo, but in the supposedly enlightened eighteenth century – people still had only the vaguest idea of where Asia ended and America began.

The Berlin Wall
July 01, 2021

The Berlin Wall

By Tamara Eidelman

Why was so much manpower, money, and material expended on a project that flew in the face of the policy of “peaceful coexistence” that had been announced just five years earlier? It was classic Khrushchev.

Mikhail Bulgakov
May 01, 2021

Mikhail Bulgakov

By Tamara Eidelman

Reactions to Mikhail Bulgakov have changed so radically over the past hundred years, it is sometimes hard to believe that they all pertain to the same man – the revered author of The Master and Margarita we know today.

New Economic Policy
March 01, 2021

New Economic Policy

By Tamara Eidelman

In the Soviet era, NEP had always been regarded as a strange, only vaguely understood, and not very sensible chapter in Soviet history: a pause between the heroic Civil War and the no less heroic Five-Year Plans.

Mikhail Romm
January 01, 2021

Mikhail Romm

By Tamara Eidelman

Mikhail Romm is remembered by everyone who ever worked with him with tenderness and affection. Yet it is hard not to wonder how differently his life and work might have turned out had it not been for the exigencies of Russian and Soviet history.

 

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EVENTS FOR RUSSOPHILES

Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans
October 01, 2021 to October 09, 2021

Tchaikovsky's The Maid of Orleans

Town Hall Theater | Middlebury, VT

Opera Company of Middlebury (VT) will present an operatic rarity – Tchaikovsky's version of the Joan of Arc story, Orleanskaya deva or The Maid of Orleans. It will be sung in Russian with English subtitles. A sweeping tale in the style of French grand opera, it offers stunning orchestral passages, vibrant choruses, and a heroic role for the young mezzo-soprano playing Joan, sung here by Annie Rosen.

Virtual Lecture: Dr. Erika Wolf on Soviet Photography
October 01, 2021 to October 01, 2021

Virtual Lecture: Dr. Erika Wolf on Soviet Photography

Zimmerli Art Museum | New Brunswick, NJ

The Zimmerli welcomes Erika Wolf, presenting a lecture about Soviet photography in print, focusing on the work of women photographers and artists. This event is held in conjunction with the Zimmerli's exhibition "Communism Through the Lens: Everyday Life Captured by Women Photographers in the Dodge Collection." Please register.

A Few of Our Books

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

Woe From Wit (bilingual)

One of the most famous works of Russian literature, the four-act comedy in verse Woe from Wit skewers staid, nineteenth century Russian society, and it positively teems with “winged phrases” that are essential colloquialisms for students of Russian and Russian culture.
Fish: A History of One Migration

Fish: A History of One Migration

This mesmerizing novel from one of Russia’s most important modern authors traces the life journey of a selfless Russian everywoman. In the wake of the Soviet breakup, inexorable forces drag Vera across the breadth of the Russian empire. Facing a relentless onslaught of human and social trials, she swims against the current of life, countering adversity and pain with compassion and hope, in many ways personifying Mother Russia’s torment and resilience amid the Soviet disintegration.
Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

This astonishingly gripping autobiography by the founder of the Russian Women’s Death Battallion in World War I is an eye-opening documentary of life before, during and after the Bolshevik Revolution.
The Samovar Murders

The Samovar Murders

The murder of a poet is always more than a murder. When a famous writer is brutally stabbed on the campus of Moscow’s Lumumba University, the son of a recently deposed African president confesses, and the case assumes political implications that no one wants any part of.
The Best of Russian Life

The Best of Russian Life

We culled through 15 years of Russian Life to select readers’ and editors’ favorite stories and biographies for inclusion in a special two-volume collection. Totalling over 1100 pages, these two volumes encompass some of the best writing we have published over the last two decades, and include the most timeless stories and biographies – those that can be read again and again.
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
Marooned in Moscow

Marooned in Moscow

This gripping autobiography plays out against the backdrop of Russia's bloody Civil War, and was one of the first Western eyewitness accounts of life in post-revolutionary Russia. Marooned in Moscow provides a fascinating account of one woman's entry into war-torn Russia in early 1920, first-person impressions of many in the top Soviet leadership, and accounts of the author's increasingly dangerous work as a journalist and spy, to say nothing of her work on behalf of prisoners, her two arrests, and her eventual ten-month-long imprisonment, including in the infamous Lubyanka prison. It is a veritable encyclopedia of life in Russia in the early 1920s.
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

Davai! The Russians and Their Vodka

In this comprehensive, quixotic and addictive book, Edwin Trommelen explores all facets of the Russian obsession with vodka. Peering chiefly through the lenses of history and literature, Trommelen offers up an appropriately complex, rich and bittersweet portrait, based on great respect for Russian culture.

Popular Articles

Profiles in Courage
September 01, 2021

Profiles in Courage

By Paul E. Richardson

It takes something special in a human being to create a thing from scratch, to see a slab of stone and carve it into a sculpture, to see an empty storefront and turn it into a store, to sketch out a multistory building on paper and then shepherd it into existence in the real world.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

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