The Kukotsky Enigma: a sprawling philosophical epic with a Tolstoyan edge

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

Leo Tolstoy, often an influence in Ulitskaya’s work, pervades this novel about family life, science, music, memory and the power of love. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – PHOEBE TAPLIN, SPECIAL TO RBTH – October 11, 2016) In 2001, novelist Ludmila Ulitskaya was the first woman to win Russia’s prestigious Booker Prize. The winning book was her fourth novel, […]

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One Book Putin Could Have Written and Three That He Did

File Photo of Vladimir Putin Sitting at Desk

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, June 5, 2016) One Russian publishing house has just released a translation of a Norwegian book that Vladimir Putin could have written himself, and another Moscow publisher has put out a three volume collection of his public statements that he actually did and that bring him into line with his Soviet predecessors. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “‘Anti-travelogue’ on Putin’s Russia wins £10,000 Ondaatje prize. Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev takes prize honouring writers who best ‘evoke the spirit of a place” – The Guardian

Hand Pulling Cash from Envelope

… Pomerantsev said he had been struck by the ‘state-reinforced psychology of the new Russia, the insistence that all identities are mutable, that nothing is true and everything is possible.’ Born in Ukraine and now living in London, Pomerantsev has worked as a journalist, film-maker and as a consultant for the EU and World Bank. * * * Judge and […]

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Six Russian writers to watch at the London Book Fair

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

A delegation of Russian authors is coming to London on April 11-14 for the city’s international book fair. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXANDRA GUZEVA, RBTH – April 7, 2016) The Read Russia international project returns to the London Book Fair. Among daily meetings with award-wining contemporary writers, this year the Russian stand (5D169) at Olympia Exhibition Center […]

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Russians’ Favorite Writer? The Winner is…

Leo Tolstoy file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – March 15, 2016) The Levada Center has recently published the results of a nationwide survey asking Russian citizens to name their favorite writer. Lev Tolstoy took first place with 45 percent of the vote, Fyodor Dostoevsky came in second with 23 percent and Anton Chekhov took third place with 18 percent. Russia is known worldwide […]

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Andrew Davies’ New ‘War and Peace’ Takes the Small Screen by Storm

Leo Tolstoy file photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Des Brown – January 27, 2016) British screenwriter Andrew Davies is television’s best English literature lecturer. He introduced homicidal British Prime Minister Francis Urquhart to BBC viewers in the “House of Cards” trilogy between 1990 and 1995. Just over two decades ago, a wet-shirted Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy captured the national imagination in Davies’ […]

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How Russians react to BBC’s War and Peace

Leo Tolstoy file photo

RBTH’s pick of the best comments made by Tolstoy’s compatriots. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – NATALIA MASHINISTOVA, SPECIAL TO RBTH – January 26, 2016) Although BBC’s new War and Peace adaptation hasn’t aired on Russian television yet, the most curious Russians have found a way to check it out on the internet. Any foreign attempt to adapt what […]

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Russian Culture Minister Says Burning Books ‘Completely Unacceptable’

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 15, 2016) Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky has denounced an incident in which 53 publications funded by the George Soros Foundation were reportedly incinerated in northern Russia’s Komi region. Medinsky told the Meduza news portal on Thursday that the burning of books and the destruction of monuments, is “completely unacceptable” because it “looks terrible […]

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Three major Russian books of 2015; The Big Book Prize has been presented in Moscow

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – ALEXANDRA GUZEVA, RBTH – December 12, 2015) 1. Guzel Yakhina. Zuleikha Opens her Eyes This sensational debut novel is the main talking point of this year’s award, which saw a newcomer to the literary scene take first prize ahead of such established writers as Victor Pelevin and Alexei Varlamov. Guzel Yakhina was born […]

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How much do we know about contemporary Russian writers?

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – PHOEBE TAPLIN, SPECIAL TO RBTH – December 9, 2015) As December 2015 sees another week of Russian literary events in New York City, RBTH asks Anglophone readers and publishers about their favorites and bestsellers among 21st-century Russian fiction. When English-speaking readers talk about Russian novels, they generally mean Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, Bulgakov and […]

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Despite Economic Woes, the Book Fair is Bigger Than Ever

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Justin Lifflander – November 28, 2015) Other countries have book fairs where publishers come to do business. The 17th International Book Fair for High-Quality Fiction and Non-Fiction – commonly simply referred to as “nonfiction” – taking place in Moscow this week is very much an event for readers. And as such it is a good […]

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Six ‘must-read’ books on Russia from last 25 years

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – BOOK REVIEW: Chris Weafer in Moscow – September 10, 2015) Chris Weafer is a founding partner of Macro-Advisory, which helps investors cut though the noise & focus on underlying trends, real political risks, & opportunities in Russia/CIS, Eurasia Union, & Mongolia. Follow him on @ChrisWeafer A great many books about Russia are published each […]

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Western Experts Cry Foul Over Russian Books Published in Their Names

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Howard Amos – August 10, 2015) Prominent Western experts and journalists accused a Russian publishing house Sunday of pirating their work and printing books using their names without their permission or prior knowledge. Journalists Luke Harding and Edward Lucas and U.S.-based Russia expert Donald Jensen confirmed to The Moscow Times that they did not know […]

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Russia’s Book Industry Wanes as Russians Stop Reading

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

  (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Anastasia Bazenkova – July 30, 2015) More Russian bookshops are facing closure every year, shaking the publishing industry and threatening writing as a profession. Bookselling, never the most profitable retail business, is struggling to stay afloat thanks to expensive shop rental rates and decreasing interest from customers. In Moscow, considered the most well-read city […]

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The Top 10 Summer Books for Russia Watchers

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 3, 2015) Here at The Moscow Times culture desk, we like to think of ourselves as highbrows. We like opera. We spend our evenings reading the “Great Authors.” We think we understand the “Black Square.” But even we like to kick back on a hot summer weekend with a can of beer and a […]

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Quiet days for books on Russia published in first half of 2015

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – BOOK REVIEW: Chris Weafer in Moscow – June 18, 2015) The first half of 2015 can hardly be described as a vintage period for new books about Russia. It seems that the Ukraine crisis and recession have led to many authors delaying completing their work until there is a little more clarity on how […]

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Interfax: Book on Kremlin history since 12th century brought out in Russia

Aerial View of Kremlin and Environs

(Interfax – June 2, 2015) A book, titled ‘Moscow Kremlin. Monuments and Shrines’ was presented in Moscow on June 2. The author, spokesman for the Federal Security Guard Service Sergei Devyatov, said that he had worked on the book for about six years. The book has been released with a print run of 1,350 copies. It has more than 2,000 […]

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BOOK REVIEW: The lessons Russia learnt in Chechnya

Chechen Militants file photo

(Business New Europe – bne.eu – Nicholas Watson in Prague – April 22, 2015) “Russia’s Wars in Chechnya 1994-2009”. By Mark Galeotti, Osprey Publishing (2014). As Russia begins a new period of military adventurism, it’s an opportune time to review what happened when the country previously waged war in its backyard, so Mark Galeotti’s “Russia’s Wars in Chechnya 1994-2009” is […]

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NEWSWATCH Foreign Policy Magazine: Is Russian Literature Dead? How the land of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy became a book lover’s afterthought

Bookcase file photo, adapted from image at nlm.nih.gov

[“Is Russian Literature Dead? How the land of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy became a book lover’s afterthought” – Foreign Policy Magazine – Owen Matthews – March 24, 2015] Writing in Foreign Policy Magazine Owen Matthews addresses the lack of attention and celebrity for Russian literature created in recent decades, at least among American readers. The last Russian novel to become a genuine […]

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Making sense of war: The perspective of five great Russian writers

Battle of Stalingrad file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Mikhail Butov, special to RBTH – July 23, 2014) The author is a writer and Russian Booker Prize winner. The current conflict in Ukraine is raising sensitive ethical questions, forcing us to consider the justifications and meaning of using military force, and whether it should be allowed at all. RBTH looks at what […]

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Arts world up in arms as Russia bans swearwords in films, books and TV

Movie Theater file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headliines – rbth.ru – Nikolai Litovkin, RBTH – July 2, 2014) A law making it illegal to use swearwords in television, movies, literature, media reporting, concerts, and theatrical productions entered into force on July 1. Violators will face stiff fines. Prominent figures have expressed their dismay over the ban, arguing that it will limit cultural expression. Russia’s […]

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The Russian novel returns: Solovki prison, the defense industry, and an agronomist called Gogol

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Georgy Manaev, RBTH – June 15, 2014) The shortlist for the ninth annual national literary prize “The Big Book” has been unveiled. This is Russia’s most influential literary award in mainstream prose and – with a prize fund of $174,000 – its most lucrative. The winners will be announced in November The jury […]

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Putin Family Values

File Photo of Vladimir Putin at Outdoor Rally with Microphone in Hand and Heavy Coat

(Window on Eurasia – Paul Goble – Staunton, April 17, 2014) Given the Kremlin’s promotion of traditional family values and Russian interest in all things Putin, a distant relative of the Kremlin leader has put out a second edition of his genealogy of the family, the presentation of which in Moscow this week speaks volumes about Vladimir Putin’s real family […]

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Book Review: What Can We Learn From the Crimean War?

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – D. Garrison Golubock – April 15, 2014) As President Vladimir Putin mobilizes soldiers on Russia’s Ukrainian border and NATO threatens consequences for any interference in eastern Ukraine, the atmosphere of angry rhetoric and brinkmanship seems frighteningly similar to the imperial squabbles of the 19th century that led to the Crimean War. While often thought of […]

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Russian Writers Call for Free Speech as Pasternak’s Birthday Celebrated

Kremlin and Saint Basil's

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – D. Garrison Golubock and Olga Chetina – February 17, 2014) Feb. 11 marked the 124th anniversary of the birth of Boris Pasternak, the famed Soviet author best known for his book “Doctor Zhivago,” which was published abroad after being banned in the Soviet Union. Pasternak’s birthday was celebrated with great fanfare by Russia’s literati, including […]

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Literature on the front lines: Russian writers in the Caucasus conflicts

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – Phoebe Taplin, special to RBTH – February 11, 2014) The tradition of literature exploring conflict in the Caucasus began with the great stories by Lermontov and Tolstoy, and is carried on by today’s writers: RBTH presents 5 contemporary authors, each with military experience and individual views on duty, violence and the casualties of […]

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Russian writers and rulers: the love-hate relationship

Alexander Solzhenitsyn file photo

(Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – February 3, 2014) For Russian literature, it’s time again for a political choice: for or against Putin? RBTH presents an overview of the problem and interviews experts. Russian literature and government power have always had something of a love-hate relationship. There have been periods when writers were exiled or put before the firing […]

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Russian Booker Nominees Listed

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – July 11, 2013) The “long list” for the Russian equivalent of the prestigious literary award was announced at a press conference on Wednesday. Twenty-four hopefuls have entered the running, whittled down from 87. The final shortlist of six candidates is to be announced on October 3. The award is considered one of the most prestigious […]

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Surkov says may write political comedy

File Photo of Vladislav Surkov with Mike McFaul

(Interfax – MOSCOW, May 8, 2014) Vladislav Surkov says he plans to write a political comedy based on real events. “I have some plans. I have a plot for a political comedy based on real events,” Surkov said in an interview with the magazine Russky Pioner, for which he writes columns, responding to a question as to whether he will […]

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Sequel on Vampires Puts Spotlight on Kremlin Opposition

Map of Russia

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – Alexander Bratersky – April 3, 2013) He never appears for the presentation of his books. His interviews, even short ones, are often literally a sensation and some people even question his very existence. In modern Russia, Viktor Pelevin is considered a cult figure and many of his books, from “Omon Ra,” a touching and grotesque […]

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Latest work on foreign policy [re: Russia’s Foreign Policy: Change and Continuity in National Identity]

Kremlin and St. Basil's

From: Andrei P Tsygankov <andrei@sfsu.edu> Subject: Latest work on foreign policy Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2013 Russia’s Foreign Policy: Change and Continuity in National Identity, 3d edition (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013) https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781442220010 La Russie et le Moyen-Orient: entre islamisme et occidentalisme. Politique étrangère 78, 1, Spring 2013 The original in English is available here: http://online.sfsu.edu/andrei/Research/Articles.htm — Andrei P. Tsygankov Professor […]

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