||Twelve Stories of Russia: A Novel, I guess is about
a young American who moves to Moscow in 1991, knowing next to nothing about
the country. In his discovery of Russia he is witness to an unsuccessful
coup, an even-less-successful rebellion, rampant inflation, unprecedented
social, economic and political change, mafia infighting, and a host of
other phenomena that characterize this period.
He moves among ordinary new Russians, meeting all sorts of curious characters,
learning unsuccessfully to drink vodka and discussing English grammar and
the other stumbling blocs of Western culture with his Russian friends.
"Why is it," his Russian friend asks, "that you Americans smile
His misconceptions about Russia land him in funny and sometimes dangerous
situations while at the same time allowing him to have a good look at the
underside of the various social strata.
|Twelve Stories is an intelligent novel about contemporary
Russia. For readers seeking an alternative to the "Russia-as-menace"
genre, it offers observations on real life that are both thought-provoking
and true, providing a fresh and thoughtful perspective on Russian culture.
The author, a graduate of NU, is a young writer and translator who
lives in Moscow with his Russian wife. This is his first novel.
|"This book captures spectacularly the weirdness that
is Russia for a foreigner... Some scenes were funny enough to make me fall
off a chair." ANDREW WACHTEL
"Twelve Stories successfully combines the surrealistic
ebullience of Venedikt Yerofeev with a meticulous linguistic restraint.
Witty, true, and densely populated, it deserves to find an audience on
both sides of the language barrier." ALEXANDER GENIS
"In Twelve Stories of Russia: A Novel, I guess sparks
fly as Russian and American mentalities collide. This portrait of a young
American's experiences in Moscow is unique for its unusual vantage point:
not from the oft-trodden front entrance to the Metropole, but from the
rear of a lonely potato line in the early 1990's. Comical yet deep observations
on Russian reality make it a real page-turner." LUDMILA ULITSKAYA
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