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Spies and Memoirs
March 01, 2014

Spies and Memoirs

Reviews of two nonfiction works about spies (some in Russia, one in America), and two memoirs of Russians from very different eras.

Empire and Paranoia
January 01, 2014

Empire and Paranoia

This issue's review section considers Ben Judah's "Fragile Empire," Victor Martinovich's "Paranoia," C.P. Lesley's "The Golden Lynx," and Olga Fedina's "What Every Russian Knows (And You Don't)."

Baba Yagas, Kremlin and Cooks
November 01, 2013

Baba Yagas, Kremlin and Cooks

A review of two books on Baba Yaga, one on the Kremlin, and one on Soviet cuisine and memoir. Also brief reviews of two movies and three other books on everything from Lee Harvey Oswald to emigres in Paris.

Russian Mysteries
July 01, 2013

Russian Mysteries

Where we review "Murder at the Dacha," by Alexei Bayer, "The Twelfth Department," by William Ryan and "The House of Special Purpose," by John Boyne. Also reviewed in short are a few works of both fiction and nonfiction.

Black Russians and Dark Years
May 01, 2013

Black Russians and Dark Years

A review of "Twilight of the Romanovs," by Blom and Buckley, "Lina and Serge," by Simon Morrison, "The Black Russian," by Vladimir Alexandrov, and "Moscow 1937," by Karl Schlogel.

Decline and Stalin
March 01, 2013

Decline and Stalin

Book reviews of "The Last Man in Russia," by Oliver Bullough; "Stalin's Barber," by Paul Levitt; "St. Petersburg City Pack," by Oxygen Books; "Happy Moscow," by Andrei Platonov (Robert Chandler, trans.); and "The Lying Year," by Andrei Gelasimov (Marian Schwartz, trans.).

Spies and Cats
November 01, 2012

Spies and Cats

A review of two new works of fiction, Matthew Dunn's Sentinel and Ilya Boyashov's The Way of Muri. Both offer entertaining reading, for entirely different reasons.

The Museum of Abandoned Secrets
November 01, 2012

The Museum of Abandoned Secrets

Where we interview Nina Shevchuk-Murray, translator of this new book by Oksana Zabuzhko, which is an expansive piece of historical fiction that encompasses much of Ukrainian history, particularly during WWII.

Films, Noir, Churches and Aristocrats
September 01, 2012

Films, Noir, Churches and Aristocrats

Reviews of "Former People" by Douglas Smith, "Nevsky" by Ben McCool and Mario Guevara, "St. Petersburg Noir," edited by Julia Goumen and Natalia Smirnova, "Wooden Churches," by Richard Davies and Matilda Moreton, and "Russian Film Posters," by Vivays Publishing.

Chernobyl, Chechnya and a bit of Scifi
July 01, 2012

Chernobyl, Chechnya and a bit of Scifi

A review of "Visit Sunny Chernobyl," by Andrew Blackwell, "Sniper" by Nicolai Lilin, "Roadside Picnic" by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, and Natasha Borzilova's new CD, "Out of My Hands."

A Wealth of Literature
May 01, 2012

A Wealth of Literature

Our review shelves were overloaded this month, necessitating more and shorter reviews. There is both great fiction (Scar, by the Dyachenkos; The Twelve Chairs, by Ilf & Petrov; The Time of Women, by Elena Chizhova; 50 Writers) and non-fiction including two Putin-focused histories and a remarkable look inside Soviet era labor camps.

 

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EVENTS FOR RUSSOPHILES

Roma Rhapsody
June 15, 2024

Roma Rhapsody

Capital One Hall | Tysons, Virginia

The Washington Balalaika Society Orchestra's Spring Concert, Roma Rhapsody, will be at 7:30 pm on Saturday June 15, 2024.

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 8
June 08, 2024

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 8

First Congregational Church | Palo Alto, California

San Francisco's Slavyanka Chorus invites you to a concert featuring a colorful tapestry of folk songs and sacred hymns by renowned women composers.

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 7
June 07, 2024

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 7

St. Mark's Episcopal Church | Berkeley, California

San Francisco's Slavyanka Chorus invites you to a concert featuring a colorful tapestry of folk songs and sacred hymns by renowned women composers.

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 9
June 09, 2024

Songs of Faith, Love and Delight! June 9

Star of the Sea Church | San Francisco, California

San Francisco's Slavyanka Chorus invites you to a concert featuring a colorful tapestry of folk songs and sacred hymns by renowned women composers.

A Few of Our Books

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.
Murder and the Muse

Murder and the Muse

KGB Chief Andropov has tapped Matyushkin to solve a brazen jewel heist from Picasso’s wife at the posh Metropole Hotel. But when the case bleeds over into murder, machinations, and international intrigue, not everyone is eager to see where the clues might lead.
Steppe / Степь

Steppe / Степь

This is the work that made Chekhov, launching his career as a writer and playwright of national and international renown. Retranslated and updated, this new bilingual edition is a super way to improve your Russian.
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.
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
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. 
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The Frogs Who Begged for a Tsar

The fables of Ivan Krylov are rich fonts of Russian cultural wisdom and experience – reading and understanding them is vital to grasping the Russian worldview. This new edition of 62 of Krylov’s tales presents them side-by-side in English and Russian. The wonderfully lyrical translations by Lydia Razran Stone are accompanied by original, whimsical color illustrations by Katya Korobkina.
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.
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.
A Taste of Chekhov

A Taste of Chekhov

This compact volume is an introduction to the works of Chekhov the master storyteller, via nine stories spanning the last twenty years of his life.

Popular Articles

Peace, Land, Bread
April 23, 2014

Peace, Land, Bread

Peace! Land! Bread! This was the battle cry of the 1917 October Revolution (old calendar) that changed the history of Russia and indeed the entire world. Since the time of Ivan the Terrible, the tsars concentrated on centralization of their power and control. The most common way of doing this was to take power away from the nobility, appeasing them by giving them dominion over their land and workers. This soon developed into the oppressive, slave-style condition known as serfdom.

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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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