May 19, 2010

Keep Reading, Dima


President Dmitry Medvedev says he likes the classics, but that,

just recently he made a request for buying about 50 books authored by contemporary Russian writers over the past 5-7 years.
"I have read some of them and I cannot say I have been excited," he said to share his impressions.
"By and large I have to read all sorts of dull papers the presidents normally read. Draft documents, draft decrees, draft instructions, laws, reports by ministries and departments and memos from secret services," Medvedev said. "All this is interesting only to a certain degree. Sometimes you feel you want to read something more humane." (Itar-Tass)

Perhaps the training rule applies here: if you plan to run a marathon, don't train for a 5k. Actually, it would be most interesting to learn what exactly among modern authors the prez is reading. I don't suppose he's reading Peter Aleshkovsky? Wait a minute, why don't we ask him. We'll just drop a note on his blog and see what he says... :)

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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.
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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.  
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Life Stories: Original Fiction By Russian Authors

The Life Stories collection is a nice introduction to contemporary Russian fiction: many of the 19 authors featured here have won major Russian literary prizes and/or become bestsellers. These are life-affirming stories of love, family, hope, rebirth, mystery and imagination, masterfully translated by some of the best Russian-English translators working today. The selections reassert the power of Russian literature to affect readers of all cultures in profound and lasting ways. Best of all, 100% of the profits from the sale of this book are going to benefit Russian hospice—not-for-profit care for fellow human beings who are nearing the end of their own life stories.
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Maria's War: A Soldier's Autobiography

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