July 01, 2018

Let's Create the New Russian Life Together


Let's Create the New Russian Life Together

Click-bait. Fake news. Sensationalism.

Online media is rife with problems, and, as a result, it largely gets Russia wrong, painting a uni-dimensional picture of corruption, mafia and dark arts that misrepresents the world’s largest country.

It’s sad, very sad. And dangerous.

We want to tackle this problem head on and we are uniquely positioned to do so.

A few recent back issues (click to see more)

A few recent back issues (click to see more)

For 23 years, we have been publishing Russian Life, the only truly independent, English language magazine on the world’s largest country.

While the mainstream media talks only of Russia’s mafia and matryoshkas, of Vladimir and vodka, we orient on Chekhov and centenarians, on language and literature, history and geography.

The nightly news likes cardboard-cutout, cartoonish views of Russia. We prefer a more nuanced, subtle approach that looks at the complexity of the place, at the unique, compelling stories it has to tell.

Does Russia have problems and flaws? Of course it does. Just like any other country or culture. And we don’t gloss over them. But instead of making them the be all and end all of our coverage, we put such issues into perspective, painting a multi-faceted portrait of this thousand-year-old land. 

We want to bring this same perspective and approach to the online media space. 

Our goal is to extend Russian Life’s publishing footprint, to make it the most interesting, authoritative online outlet on all things Russian. 

That is what our new Kickstarter is all about.

So what are we going to do?

  • First, we will completely revamping our website and online presence to make it mobile-first and easy to access and read on any device. 
  • Second, we will rebuild our database systems to make subscribing and renewing online a seamless and painless experience, enabling various combinations of digital and print subscriptions.
  • Third, we will put the entire 23 years of Russian Life online (available as part of a digital subscription). Thousands of articles will be at your fingertips for searching and retrieval.
  • Fourth, we will do the same with the current and future content of the print magazine, making it available online and readable on any device (no app required!), while adding online-only enhancements to articles. And print subscribers will be able to have a print/digital subscription for a modest additional fee.
  • Finally, we will supplement all of this with new, online-only content that uses the digital medium to its best effect. From videos and audio to travelogues, reviews, databases and interviews. We will also keep a close eye on the RuNet – the Russian-only internet – for you, regularly translating and sharing the most important and interesting information we find, just like we do with our popular weekly e-letter, The Weekly Russia File.
A first draft of our redesign

A first draft of our redesign

In the end, the depth and breadth of what we can achieve will depend on how successful this Kickstarter is and how popular the online site becomes.

But we think it is going to be huge. We think there is great pent-up demand for authentic, interesting, balanced information about Russia. And we want you to be a part of it. 

Together, we can create the New Russian Life… one that builds on what we have learned over the last 23 years with the print magazine… one that creates a Russian Life for the next generation – bridging the print and digital divide.

What do you get out of this?

Aside from a newly-enhanced, digital Russian Life platform, you mean? 

Well, by supporting our Kickstarter, you will essentially be pre-paying for a one-year online or print+online subscription, demonstrating to us and others that there is support to extend Russian Life in this new direction.

But you also will get some great, Kickstarter-only benefits.

Everyone who backs the project at the Diginaut or higher level will get an offset print (8x10 inches, full color) of the amazing original work of art, “Russian Seasons,” that Yekaterinburg artist Olga Ezova-Denisova is creating especially for this project. (More about Olga and this work in project updates to come.)

Olga at work...
Olga at work...

If you support the project at higher levels, you can also get one of the books we created in our previous Kickstarter projects.

Books we have kickstartered...
Books we have kickstartered...

At still higher levels you can get an original, numbered print of Olga’s artwork, and/or become an active advisor and participant in this new effort.

This is our dream: a dynamic, interesting publication that is as beautiful online as off, that bridges the digital-analog divide, letting readers choose how to receive Russian Life content, be it in through a mailbox by the side of the road, or via the internet superhighway (or both!). We are truly excited about this new development and I hope you will join us in taking Russian Life to the next level.

Paul Richardson 
Publisher 

 

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Some of Our Books

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.
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.
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.
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
At the Circus

At the Circus

This wonderful novella by Alexander Kuprin tells the story of the wrestler Arbuzov and his battle against a renowned American wrestler. Rich in detail and characterization, At the Circus brims with excitement and life. You can smell the sawdust in the big top, see the vivid and colorful characters, sense the tension build as Arbuzov readies to face off against the American.
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...
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. 
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.
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.
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.
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.

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.

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Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

802-223-4955