March 01, 2017

Dovlatov in America

Midway through Pushkin Hills, Sergei Dovlatov’s novel based on his experiences as a tour guide in Soviet Russia, there’s a conversation between a writer who, like Dovlatov, is having trouble getting his stories published, and a woman who, like Dovlatov’s ex-wife Elena, is trying to persuade him to emigrate with her to the United States.

“This is where my readers are. And there ... who needs my stories in Chicago?”

“Who needs them here? The headwaiter in Crescent Shore, who doesn’t even read the menu?”

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