The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.
Julia Goumen & Natalia Smirnova, eds., Akashic ($15.95)
As with the first Russia title (Moscow) in this extensive noir series by Akashic, this volume collects a series of dark, brooding, crime-infested works, all of which are set in the title city – in this case the most brooding (and perhaps most crime-infested) city Russia has to offer.
St. Petersburg is the very definition of noir. Built atop the corpses of thousands, its swampy climate, history and landscape are ideal for breeding dark, psychological literature.
Few of the authors will be ones western readers will have heard of, but that does not make them less worth reading. The translations are superb and fluid, and the texts represents a refreshingly wide variety of styles and subjects (to the extent this is possible within the genre of noir).
Reviewed in Russian Life: Sep/Oct 2012