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13 November 2018

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Moscow Noir

Modern Russian literature, dug as it is from the pockets of Gogol’s overcoat, is rich in its bleakness, towering in its depths of existential despair. And the pulsing heart of Russian literature today is Moscow, a lumbering peasant village that is both ramshackle and awe-inspiring, with dirt beneath its nails and wearing just a bit too much mascara.

Smirnova and Goumen are literary agents and thus well in touch with the Russian literary scene. And while few of the 14 authors they have chosen for this volume will be known to western readers, they ought to be. For collectively they serve up a deliciously dark feast of fables and horror stories, murders and farces. It is noir with a decidely Russian twist. Gogol would love it.

— Paul E. Richardson

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Reviewed in Russian Life: July/Aug 2010