Notes from a Russian Village

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Faith in Progress
May 01, 2009

Faith in Progress

One fine spring day, a new telephone appeared in the village of Chukhrai. A beautiful thing. But it connected to no one or no thing.

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves
July 01, 2007

Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves

A crime is committed in Laura's village by some wandering gypsies. So her husband takes the law into his own hands...

Village Injustice
July 01, 2006

Village Injustice

This modern tale of two hapless village drunks and their run-in with the Russian justice system could be taken out of Chekhov. But, sadly, it is non-fiction.

Chado, the Roving Superdog
May 01, 2006

Chado, the Roving Superdog

"A dog is a basic necessity in the village, and the bigger the dog, the better..." But this is not a story about a big dog, at least not physically...

Village Fashion
March 01, 2006

Village Fashion

The latest, most up-to-date guide of what to wear down in the village, where there is no bad weather, just bad clothing!

The Lesson
November 01, 2005

The Lesson

Villagers teach a horse a lesson. Or not.

To Bathe or Not to Bathe
September 01, 2005

To Bathe or Not to Bathe

Our neighbor Kalkan has probably been clean and sober only a dozen times in his life. The last time he bathed in a barrel of water warmed in a wood stove he came down with a bad cold and vowed never to do it again.

Bringing in the New Year
November 01, 2004

Bringing in the New Year

From her village in the Bryansk region, Laura Williams offers a distinctly rural picture of the New Year's holidays in Russia.

 

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A Few of Our Books

A Taste of Russia

A Taste of Russia

The definitive modern cookbook on Russian cuisine has been totally updated and redesigned in a 30th Anniversary Edition. Layering superbly researched recipes with informative essays on the dishes' rich historical and cultural context, A Taste of Russia includes over 200 recipes on everything from borshch to blini, from Salmon Coulibiac to Beef Stew with Rum, from Marinated Mushrooms to Walnut-honey Filled Pies. A Taste of Russia shows off the best that Russian cooking has to offer. Full of great quotes from Russian literature about Russian food and designed in a convenient wide format that stays open during use.
The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
The Little Humpbacked Horse

The Little Humpbacked Horse

A beloved Russian classic about a resourceful Russian peasant, Vanya, and his miracle-working horse, who together undergo various trials, exploits and adventures at the whim of a laughable tsar, told in rich, narrative poetry.
Survival Russian

Survival Russian

Survival Russian is an intensely practical guide to conversational, colloquial and culture-rich Russian. It uses humor, current events and thematically-driven essays to deepen readers’ understanding of Russian language and culture. This enlarged Second Edition of Survival Russian includes over 90 essays and illuminates over 2000 invaluable Russian phrases and words.
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 Little Golden Calf

The Little Golden Calf

Our edition of The Little Golden Calf, one of the greatest Russian satires ever, is the first new translation of this classic novel in nearly fifty years. It is also the first unabridged, uncensored English translation ever, and is 100% true to the original 1931 serial publication in the Russian journal 30 Dnei. Anne O. Fisher’s translation is copiously annotated, and includes an introduction by Alexandra Ilf, the daughter of one of the book’s two co-authors.
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.
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.
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.
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 

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Russian Life Takes a Pause
March 07, 2022

Russian Life Takes a Pause

As the world reels from the horrific, criminal events being perpetrated in Ukraine by Vladimir Putin, the Russian state, and the Russian military, all of us who nurture a love for Russian people, their culture and history, have been heartbroken. It is not easy to remain a Russophile when suddenly, all across the globe, the adjective “Russian” has become toxic.

Peace, Land, Bread
April 23, 2014

Peace, Land, Bread

Peace! Land! Bread! This was the battle cry of the 1917 October Revolution (old calendar) that changed the history of Russia and indeed the entire world. Since the time of Ivan the Terrible, the tsars concentrated on centralization of their power and control. The most common way of doing this was to take power away from the nobility, appeasing them by giving them dominion over their land and workers. This soon developed into the oppressive, slave-style condition known as serfdom.

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