50 Writers: An Anthology of 20th Century Russian Short Stories

50 Writers: An Anthology of 20th Century Russian Short Stories

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Valentina Brougher & Mark Lipovetsky (Eds.)
Translated by Valentina Brougher, Mark Lipovetsky, & Frank Miller

Series: Cultural Syllabus
ISBN: 9781936235148 (hardcover) / 9781936235223 (paper)
Pages: 792 pp.
Publication Date: March 2011

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The largest, most comprehensive anthology of its kind, this volume brings together significant, representative stories from every decade of the twentieth century. It includes the prose of officially recognized writers and dissidents, both well-known and neglected or forgotten, plus new authors from the end of the century. The selections reflect the various literary trends and approaches to depicting reality in this era: traditional realism, modernism, socialist realism, and post-modernism. Taken as a whole, the stories capture every major aspect of Russian life, history and culture in the twentieth century. The rich array of themes and styles will be of tremendous interest to students and readers who want to learn about Russia through the engaging genre of the short story.

Valentina Brougher (PhD University of Kansas) is Professor Emerita, Department of Slavic Languages, Georgetown University. Her articles on 20th century Russian writers have been published in major academic journals, and her translations of 20th century prose have appeared in anthologies and special editions.

Mark Lipovetsky is Professor of Russian Studies in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures and joint faculty member at the Comparative Literature Program at the University of Boulder. He is the author of Paralogies: The Transformations of (Post)Modern Discourse in Russian Culture of the 1920s-2000s (2008) and Charms of Cynical Reason: Tricksters in Soviet and Post-Soviet Culture (2010).

Frank Miller (PhD 1976, Indiana University) is a Professor at Columbia University.


Valentina Brougher, Mark Lipovetsky, and Frank Miller have rendered an important service to the profession by compiling a rich, judiciously selected, and carefully translated anthology of twentieth-century Russian short stories. . . . Offering a wealth of cultural and historical material, this book may serve as an introduction to twentieth-century Russian culture. Alternatively—and to my mind more fruitfully—this compilation will cater to those students and general readers who already possess knowledge of this realm and seek to enrich it further, often in unexpected and exciting ways. Of existing English-language anthologies of modern Russian short stories, 50 Writers is by far the most expansive. . . .
— Sofya Khagi (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor), Slavic and East European Journal, vol. 58, no. 4 (Winter 2015)
I’ve seen many English-language anthologies of Russian literature, but this is the first one that I want to give to all my non-specialist friends, so that they can finally understand what is so wonderful about modern Russian literature.
— Eliot Bornstein, Professor of Russian & Slavic Studies at NYU and the author of Overkill: Sex and Violence in Contemporary Russian Popular Culture
This selection of mainly newly translated stories from the 20th century includes both well-known writers and new voices. It eschews traditional selections from the former category and presents startling writings from the latter. As the editors-translators put it themselves in their lucid introduction, these stories together form a ‘mega-novel’ about Russia of the previous century from its first revolution to post-perestroika times.
— Irene Masing-Delic, Ohio State University
If you like the short-story genre, don’t pick up this addictive collection unless you are prepared to be lost in its riches for a considerable time. These beautifully translated, haunting Russian tales written from 1901 to 2001, almost all previously unpublished, read so smoothly that they are seductive. And, as the editors suggest, if the stories are read as they are arranged, chronologically, the continuity of certain themes makes the whole lot into ‘a kind of amazing mega-novel, with different heroes, historical periods and situations which nevertheless resonate with one another and become intertwined. . . .’
— Priscilla S. Taylor , The Washington Times