Literature

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Translator's Note: Bulat Okudzhava
September 30, 2015

Translator's Note: Bulat Okudzhava

By Eugenia Sokolskaya

It's one thing to become famous as a writer or poet in your own country. But what does it take to earn yourself a spot in world literature? By describing the promise of Soviet poet, songwriter, and classic Bulat Okudzhava, translators offer us some insight.

The Tower of (Isaac) Babel
July 13, 2015

The Tower of (Isaac) Babel

July 13 is the anniversary of Isaac Babel's birth. Now celebrated as one of teh great writers of the twentieth century, he had a very difficult time gaining acceptance during his lifetime, and repeatedly suffered from antisemitism, official and otherwise.

War and Peace: 7 Fun Facts
July 01, 2015

War and Peace: 7 Fun Facts

By Eugenia Sokolskaya

How many characters are in Tolstoy's War and Peace? Could it have been any shorter? Did Tolstoy himself love it or hate it? Find out the answers to these – and more! – questions in this quick list of little-known War and Peace facts.

The Latchkey Murders
July 01, 2015

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...

 

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EVENTS FOR RUSSOPHILES

20th Annual Russian Arts and Culture Festival
May 01, 2021 to May 31, 2021

20th Annual Russian Arts and Culture Festival

Virtual | N/A, N/A

The City of West Hollywood administration invites everyone to join a virtual celebration of Russian Arts and Culture this May. An array of musical events, activities for kids, workshops, virtual tours, concerts, contests, interviews with interesting people, and much more will comprise a month-long celebration. The program of our events will be published on the website of the festival and in the Facebook group.

Three Sisters Live Stream Performance
May 02, 2021 to May 02, 2021

Three Sisters Live Stream Performance

Online - Pushkin House | London,

Anton Chekhov's The Three Sisters probes the lives and dreams of Olga, Masha, and Irina, former Muscovites now living in a provincial town from which they're desperate to escape. In this powerful play, a landmark of modern drama, Chekhov masterfully interweaves character and theme in subtle ways that make the work's climax seem as inevitable as it is deeply moving.

A Few of Our Books

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas

This exciting new trilogy by a Russian author – who has been compared to Orhan Pamuk and Umberto Eco – vividly recreates a lost world, yet its passions and characters are entirely relevant to the present day. Full of mystery, memorable characters, and non-stop adventure, The Pet Hawk of the House of Abbas is a must read for lovers of historical fiction and international thrillers.  
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.
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.
Jews in Service to the Tsar

Jews in Service to the Tsar

Benjamin Disraeli advised, “Read no history: nothing but biography, for that is life without theory.” With Jews in Service to the Tsar, Lev Berdnikov offers us 28 biographies spanning five centuries of Russian Jewish history, and each portrait opens a new window onto the history of Eastern Europe’s Jews, illuminating dark corners and challenging widely-held conceptions about the role of Jews in Russian history.
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.
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.
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. 
Driving Down Russia's Spine

Driving Down Russia's Spine

The story of the epic Spine of Russia trip, intertwining fascinating subject profiles with digressions into historical and cultural themes relevant to understanding modern Russia. 
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.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.
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.

Popular Articles

Why Don't Russians Smile?
January 10, 2014

Why Don't Russians Smile?

By The Editors

It is a common trope that Russians never smile. Which of course is interpreted to mean they are unfriendly, gloomy, sullen – positively Dostoyevskian. This, of course, is a complete misreading of body language and cultural norms.

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