Fiction

RECENT REVIEWS

Andrei Bitov, Russian Politics, and Postmodernism

Andrei Bitov, Russian Politics, and Postmodernism

THOUGH ANDREI BITOV looms large in Russia, the past 15 years have seen the translation of only two of his novels into English: The Symmetry Teacher, which appeared in the summer of 2014 (rereleased in...

Find this, Americans, and get it into your bones

Find this, Americans, and get it into your bones

History begins for us with murder and enslavement, not with discovery — William Carlos Williams   FIRST A WARNING, then some spoilers: even before I began The Dying Grass, William T. Vol...

Manifold Destiny

Manifold Destiny

BLINDINGLY INTELLIGENT, exhaustively researched, profoundly moving, and formally innovative, William T. Vollmann’s The Dying Grass: A Novel of the Nez Perce War is essential reading for anyone inter...

The Brutal Lyricism of Isaac Babel

The Brutal Lyricism of Isaac Babel

I WAS DRAWN to Russian literature in translation at 14, starting with War and Peace, and have since spent a lifetime reading this extraordinary catalog of great works, from Tolstoy to Bulgakov. Yet I ...

What Rubbish They Publish

What Rubbish They Publish

IT'S TRUE THAT CHEKHOV, gathering his work for collected editions, essentially renounced these stories by excluding all of them. But when he was 22 and trying to get The Prank (Шалость) okayed ...

The End of Us: E.L. Doctorow’s Last Warning

The End of Us: E.L. Doctorow’s Last Warning

HERE’S SOMETHING you probably didn’t know about E.L. Doctorow, who died on Tuesday. I didn’t know about it, until I sat down with him at is kitchen table in his Manhattan apartment last year, j...

The Falling Apartness of Things

The Falling Apartness of Things

LITERATURE CIRCULATES in such unpredictable manners, flows amongst people of diverse backgrounds, changes hands between strangers, and from that moment on they are no longer as unknown to each other t...

Untrue Crime

Untrue Crime

FROM MAJ SJÖWALL’S and Per Wahlöö’s masterful Martin Beck series of police procedurals, which autopsied the Swedish petit-bourgeoisie in the wake of the countercultural revolutions of the 1960s...