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Exploring Zoshchenko’s wonderful Russian satire @ColumbiaUP @shinynewbooks #zoshchenko #borisdralyuk

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I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to review some wonderful volumes in the Columbia University Press Russian Library over the past year or so for Shiny New Books; and I’m delighted that my review of a very special book is up today over at Shiny!

Mikhail Zoshchenko is one of Russia’s best-loved satirists; his “Scenes from a Bathhouse” is probably the title most known in English (and I do have a copy somewhere in the stacks…). “Sentimental Tales” is a newly selected and translated collection of linked tales, rendered beautifully in English by Boris Dralyuk, and it’s a real treat.

The Russian Library books are beautiful to look at and contain some marvellous gems – although I think this might be the jewel in the crown so far! You can read my review on Shiny here, and I can’t recommend this one enough! 🙂

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A Russian Bronte? @shinynewbooks @ColumbiaUP

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As my love of Russian literature is no secret, I guess I’m the obvious candidate to be reviewing another excellent book from Columbia University Press in their Russian Library series. Their latest one is a real treat, too, in the form of a comedy of manners from a neglected 19th century woman author – and it set me thinking about the lack of female representation in the canon of Russian writing from that century.

The author of “City Folk and Country Folk”, Sofia Khvoshchinskaya, was one of three Russian writer sisters and her book features wonderfully feisty female characters at the centre of the story. It’s a witty, sparkling and yet pithy read and I wonder how many other women writers we’re missing accessing in our Anglophone world because of a lack of translation.

Sofia Khvoshchinskaya has been tagged as a Russian Bronte by the publisher, although in many ways she could be said to more resemble Austen. However, she’s a wonderfully fresh voice coming to us from the Russian past – you can read my full review here at Shiny New Books, and I recommend this one highly!

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