Kseniya Melnik




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Kseniya Melnik

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Alice Munro, Anton Chekhov, Jhumpa Lahiri, Lyudmila Ulitskaya, Aleksan ...more

member since
July 2007


About this author

Kseniya Melnik's debut book is the linked story collection Snow in May, which was short-listed for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award.. Born in Magadan, Russia, she moved to Alaska in 1998, at the age of 15. She received her MFA from New York University. Her work has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Epoch, Esquire (Russia), Virginia Quarterly Review, Prospect (UK), and was selected for Granta's New Voices series. She is at work on a novel.
www.kseniyamelnik.com


Average rating: 3.75 · 237 ratings · 77 reviews · 1 distinct work · Similar authors
Snow in May: Stories
3.75 of 5 stars 3.75 avg rating — 237 ratings — published 2014 — 5 editions
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Folks! This is a novel that I really loved and blurbed. And here's a chance to win it through the Goodreads giveaway.

FINISHED BOOK GIVEAWAY + BONUS: Each winner will also receive a signed CD of Ella’s special edition album “Secret Lives of Women”

Ella Leya is an Azerbaijani-American composer, singer and writer. The Orphan Sky is her first novel.
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Published on November 25, 2014 10:05 • 50 views

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How to Be Both
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The First Circle
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Kseniya's Recent Updates

Rebecca Foster
Rebecca Foster added a status update: We're off to Manchester tomorrow and then to Dublin for the rest of the week. Hoping to do some good literary tourism, including Elizabeth Gaskell's House and the library where Marx and Engels met (I have a copy of the Communist Manifesto to read on the train!) and then various sites associated with Joyce, Yeats et al. I'll hope to report back here and on my blog in due course.
Kseniya Melnik wants to read
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
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A Simple Plan by Scott B. Smith
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Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose
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Spoiled Brats by Simon Rich
Spoiled Brats: Stories
by Simon Rich
read in August, 2015
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How to Be Both by Ali Smith
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Kseniya Melnik started reading
Spoiled Brats by Simon Rich
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The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits
The Folded Clock: A Diary
by Heidi Julavits (Goodreads Author)
read in August, 2015
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The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon
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The Folded Clock by Heidi Julavits
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More of Kseniya's books…
Everything felt wrong, like she was living in a parallel universe, separated by one crucial degree from the one containing the life she was meant to have. This other, true life was visible to her, even palpable at certain instances—like during the births of her sons—but impossible to occupy. She cried from pity for herself, and because of the stupidity of such pity. She cried for Luciano and for Anton. She cried because she’d only loved one boy with the follow-you-over-the-edge-of-the-earth kind of love—at fifteen. She cried for her mother, who had died two years ago, and whom she still missed every day.”
Kseniya Melnik, Snow in May: Stories

“The smells of fried onions, pea soup, and fish fought for airspace.”
Kseniya Melnik, Snow in May: Stories

Kruchina was an archaic word for grief, found mostly in the old folk songs and poems. Kruchina grief was not regular sadness or disappointment with everyday troubles, but rather the existential sorrow about a woman’s lot that never goes away, not even at the happiest of moments.
   Masha remembered this song from one of the movies of her youth, when all the movies and books were about the war and patriotism, about the great sacrifice for the future. German soldiers were burning a Russian village. The children screamed, the helpless grandmas and grandpas shrieked, the animals and fowl scattered for their lives. A young German soldier broke into the last izba standing and found two women huddled on a bench. Except for a single candle, the house was dark and it was hard to see what was in the shadowy corner: a trunk or a cradle.
   Before the soldiers could reload their guns, the women began to sing “Kruchina.” In the middle of this chaos, time stopped. The soldiers listened as the voices washed over their round helmets and tense shoulders, crept into their machine guns, and spread through their stiffened veins and cold stomachs, like mother’s milk.
   Sveta might not have even seen the movie, but she and Masha always sang “Kruchina” when their hearts, one or both, were in the wrong place.”
Kseniya Melnik, Snow in May: Stories

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”
Anne Frank

“The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.”
Jane Addams

“Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.”
Jane Smiley, Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel

“It's actually very difficult to make something both simple and good.”
Paul Simon

“I read so I can live more than one life in more than one place.”
Anne Tyler

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Comments (showing 1-4)    post a comment »
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Kseniya Melnik Rebecca wrote: "I gave Snow in May a mention in this round-up of the month's best books: http://forbookssake.net/2014/05/30/mo..."

Thanks, Rebecca :)


Rebecca Foster I gave Snow in May a mention in this round-up of the month's best books: http://forbookssake.net/2014/05/30/mo...


Kseniya Melnik Cool! It should be waiting for you.


Rebecca Foster I spotted your book on NetGalley :) I'm looking forward to picking up my copy next month.


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