Posts in Reviews
Review: Late and Post-Soviet Russian Literature: A Reader books 1 & 2

Late and Post-Soviet Russian Literature: A Reader books 1 & 2 were reviewed in The Russian Review.

Both volumes provide a valuable addition to courses on late Soviet or post-Soviet literature and culture. They contain comprehensive collections of diverse materials and include texts that were not previously translated into English, in excellent translations and supplemented with footnotes, as well as previously published texts that are less familiar to American students. While both volumes have the same editors and provide new and exciting materials for courses in late Soviet and contemporary Russian culture, they differ substantially in their structure and content. Therefore, they present different advantages and challenges for being a course textbook or supplement ... Because it includes many key authors of the period, it could be used as a stand-alone course reader. Moreover, it contains a good balance of primary and secondary texts that provide additional historical and theoretical context ... Both readers present a compelling collection of materials and well-written introductory essays that might be interesting for a scholar of Russian Studies.
— Irina Anisimova, Miami University of Ohio, Russian Review no. 76 vol. 2 April 2017
Review: Silent Love: The Annotation and Interpretation of Nabokov’s "The Real Life of Sebastian Knight"
Gerard de Vries offers an elegant and persuasive plea for the act of annotation ... [The Real Life of Sebastian Knight] seems to call out for the kind of scholarship and detective work already richly devoted to Lolita and Ada. This is precisely what de Vries provides. After a long chapter of notes on specific textual moments, he presents three chapters of comment on motifs in the novel, centering on questions of narrative, identity, and ‘death and beyond.’
— Michael Wood, Princeton University, The Russian Review vol 76 no. 2, April 2017
Review: Garden of Broken Statues: Exploring Censorship in Russia

Garden of Broken Statues: Exploring Censorship in Russia by Marianna Tax Choldin was reviewed in The Russian Review.

Marianna Tax Choldin’s memoir is a refreshingly personal one. Her research on Russian censorship does figure throughout the book, but it is not really at center stage. ... For me, her brief chapter ‘Dissertation and Book,’ in which she describes how her first book, A fence around the Empire, came together, is the most valuable one in the book. We need more such accounts for graduate students, nearly all of whom struggle with the immensity of their first big project. Perhaps even more valuable for junior scholars in this day and age would be reading about the course that Tax Choldin’s career took. ... Garden of Broken Statues is a delightful and engaging read ... Tax Choldin’s stories of her friendships in the worlds of librarianship and scholarship, both here and on her ‘Soviet Planet,’ as she calls it, are what most make this a book worth reading. Such stories of personal connection get to the heart of what it means to be a Western student of Russian cultural history. As the scholars of Tax Choldin’s generation retire in ever greater numbers, let us hope that we will soon see the publication of many more books like this one.
— Joe Peschio, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, The Russian Review no. 76 vol. 2 April 2017
Review: "Soviet Jews in World War II: Fighting, Witnessing, Remembering"

Soviet Jews in World War II: Fighting, Witnessing, Remembering, edited by Harriet Murav and Gennady Estraikh, was reviewed in Slavic and East European Journal.

The perpetrator-bystander-victim model that has by and large dominated Holocaust scholarship is challenged by the appearance of Soviet Jews in World War II: Fighting, Witnessing, Remembering, a collection of essays that examines the role of Soviet Jews as heroes during what the Soviets called the Great Patriotic War. Although the essays in the book cover different types of texts, they are united by a similar set of concerns ... demonstrating that in addition to the breadth of essays present here on the subject of the Holocaust in the Soviet context, the entire Soviet epoch ... is a treasure-trove waiting to be discovered and explored.
— Naya Lekht, University of California Los Angeles, Slavic and East European Journal 60.4 (Winter 2016)
Maria G. Rewakowicz, author of "Literature, Exile, Alterity", interviewed in New Books Network

Maria G. Rewakowicz, author of Literature, Exile, Alterity:  The New York Group of Ukrainian Poets, was interviewed by Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed in New Books Network.  Listen to the podcast and read an excerpt of the review below.

Maria G. Rewakowicz explores a unique collaboration of the poets residing in the United States and writing poetry in the Ukrainian language. This research offers a systematized and chronologically organized vision of the group ... In addition to the theoretical framework for the discussion of the New York Group phenomenon, Literature, Exile, Alterity also offers an exquisite analysis of the poetry. Rewakowicz illuminates the multilayeredness the poets embrace and presents the groups diverse poetic experimentations as the engagement with altered selves. ... Literature, Exile, Alterity contributes to the discussion of modern Ukrainian literature from the perspective of intercultural and interliterary connections and influences. Rewakowicz also engages in the conversation regarding diverse intricacies of literary developments.
— Nataliya Shpylova-Saeed, New Books Network, 23 February 2017

To read the full review and see the original link to the podcast, visit New Books Network.

Times of Israel Reviews "Under the Shadow of the Rising Sun"

Under the Shadow of the Rising Sun: Japan and the Jews During the Holocaust Period by Meron Medzini has been reviewed in The Times of Israel.

Japan’s attitude to and policies toward Jews from 1933 to 1945 — the years that coincided with the rise and fall of Nazi Germany — is the subject of Meron Medzini’s fine and fascinating work of scholarship, Under the Shadow of the Rising Sun: Japan and the Jews During the Holocaust Period ... Medzini, a Hebrew University historian, is one of the few scholars who has exhaustively delved into this intriguing topic ... Medzini’s wide-ranging book fills the gap quite admirably. He deals with the influx of Jews into Japan from the mid-19th century, the image of Jews in Japanese society, the export of antisemitism to Japan, the treatment meted out to Jews in Japanese-occupied Manchuria, China and Southeast Asia and the policies Japan formulated with respect to Jewish refugees.
— Sheldon Kirshner, Times of Israel (4 March 2017)

To read the full review, visit The Times of Israel.

Book Review: Shadows of Survival: A Child's Memoir of the Warsaw Ghetto

Shadows of Survival: A Child’s Memoir of the Warsaw Ghetto was reviewed in The Times Literary Supplement.

A fine honest memoir...devastation is lodged in the accumulated detail, one of the reasons publications such as this are so important.
— Natasha Lehrer, Times Literary Supplement, February 23 2017

Read the full review at the Times Literary Supplement's website.

Book Review: Shadows of Survival: A Child’s Memoir of the Warsaw Ghetto

Shadows of Survival: A Child’s Memoir of the Warsaw Ghetto was reviewed in January's issue of The Jewish Chronicle.

Kristine Keese survived childhood in the Warsaw Ghetto but when she arrived in New York in 1946 at the age of 12, her new classmates did not believe what she had suffered. Seventy years later, with astounding detail and clarity, she tells her story in Shadows of Survival, a Child’s Memoir of the Warsaw Ghetto ... Some of her experiences are those of any child — being so engrossed in her library books that she allows the dinner to burn, for instance. Others are drastically
different — such as walking home from a bread-buying expedition and having the loaf, still in her mother’s hand, bitten by a starving child.
— The Jewish Chronicle, 13 Jan 2017
Book Review: The Russian Avant-Garde and Radical Modernism: an Introductory Reader

The Russian Avant-Garde and Radical Modernism: an Introductory Reader, edited by Dennis. G. Ioffe and Frederich H. White, has been reviewed in International Journal of Russian Studies. To read the full review, visit their website.

This introductory book provides comprehensive analysis of the radical artistic movement Russian Avant-Garde and Radical Modernism, included [sic] well written biographical articles, critical analyses and collected samples of the Russian Avant-Garde and Modernism. It is a remarkable resource for not only researchers but also students who study Russian literature and culture, particularly the movement Russian Avant-Garde and Modernism.
— Ayse Dietrich, Middle East Technical University, International Journal of Russian Studies Issue no. 6, Jan 2017
Marianna Tax Choldin interviewed in World Libraries

Marianna Tax Choldin, author of Garden of Broken Statues: Exploring Censorship in Russia, has been interviewed and reviewed in the first issue of the open access journal World Libraries' relaunch. Read the full interview at World Libraries' open access platform here.

Garden of Broken Statues: Exploring Censorship in Russia covers a lot of territory: geographically, from Hyde Park to Moscow to East Bangladesh; ideologically, from Soviet “omni-censorship” to the less systemic challenges to free speech we find in the States; and, above all, interpersonally, as Choldin pays tribute to the people who have shaped her life ... it’s such a wide-ranging book, it might be recommended not only to those interested in Russia or censorship, but also just about all readers of this journal: namely, librarians and information professionals curious about the personal and professional lives of those who have committed the better part of their lives to the cause of international understanding.
— Scott Schoger, World Libraries Vol 22. No. 1 (2016)