August 01, 2010

A Russian Under Every Bed


Ok, I might be biased, given that at Russian Life we're focused 24/7 on things Russian. But lately it seems like Russians are popping up everywhere, even in the most unlikely of places. It's like when I vacation in Maine and the girl scooping my ice cream in some tiny little town off the beaten path turns out to be here from Krasnoyarsk on a student work visa... So what am I talking about? Well, this for instance, among more recent and semi-recent news items:

  • Daniel Radcliffe, the guy who plays Harry Potter, just celebrated his 21st birthday... at a bar in St. Petersburg
  • I just finished Stieg Larsson's NY Times Bestseller The Girl Who Played With Fire (second in the series, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was the first one) and have started The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest. Spoiler alert: The books (which are great) may have been written by a Swede, but the main baddy is of course a Russian.
  • Speaking of baddies: no surprise that it was Russians behind the worst of everything in the final season of 24.
  • Ok, I guess I have to mention the Spy Scandal here. Which is kind of hard to call a scandal, since the spies were caught before they did any damage (so we are told) and ended up being swapped for more non-spies.
  • Chelsea Clinton just got married. She is now Chelsea Mezvinsky. Her new hubby, Marc, is son of convicted felon and former congressmen Edward Mezvinsky (aka "Fast Talking Eddy"). It is not clear that the family is of Russian extraction, but they are Jewish and that means they likely trace their lineage back to the Pale of Settlement, which was in the Russian empire. And there is this from one online source: "He [Marc] threw Chelsea a 30th birthday party for 70 friends and family at Russian eatery Mari Vanna, one of their favorite restaurants."  Guests dined on caviar, pierogies and vodka-infused cocktails."
  • Tony Hayward, the Golden Parachute clad, embattled ex-CEO of BP Oil has been exiled to Russia.
  • Daniel Pirog (his last name means "pie") of Russia just won the world middleweight boxing title.

And that is just a quick perusal. Seems like a rather heavy concentration of late, if you ask me. Maybe it is some kind of cosmic confluence with the Perseid Meteor Showers?

Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

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.
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.
Russia Rules

Russia Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
22 Russian Crosswords

22 Russian Crosswords

Test your knowledge of the Russian language, Russian history and society with these 22 challenging puzzles taken from the pages of Russian Life magazine. Most all the clues are in English, but you must fill in the answers in Russian. If you get stumped, of course all the puzzles have answers printed at the back of the book.
Steppe / Степь

Steppe / Степь

This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.
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.
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.
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.
The Latchkey Murders

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...
White Magic

White Magic

The thirteen tales in this volume – all written by Russian émigrés, writers who fled their native country in the early twentieth century – contain a fair dose of magic and mysticism, of terror and the supernatural. There are Petersburg revenants, grief-stricken avengers, Lithuanian vampires, flying skeletons, murders and duels, and even a ghostly Edgar Allen Poe.

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.

Latest Posts

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

802-223-4955