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Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  64 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Few countries have undergone more radical transformations than Russia has since the fall of the Soviet Union. The stories in Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia present twenty-two depictions of the new Russia from its most talented young writers. Selected from the pages of the top Russian literary magazines and written by winners of the most prestigious literary awards ...more
Published September 1st 2009 by Tin House Books
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Jul 06, 2010 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rasskazy-defined as narratives, stories, tales

Edited by Mikhail Iossel and Jeff Parker

Rasskazy is a collection of excerpts and short stories set throughout Russia, and provides a more positive depiction of Moscow than last week’s Moscow Noir. This is completely different from other selections I’ve read from Russia, and much of it has a level of humor not always associated with Russian writing.

The “New Russia” is evident everywhere, as there isn’t many references to the old Cold War struggles of
Erma Odrach
Jan 13, 2011 Erma Odrach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my first book for the Eastern European Reading Challenge hosted by The Black Sheep Dances by Amy Henry.

Rasskazy is a collection of short stories by Russian authors born from 1969 and after. It's really an exciting collection, showcasing what Russians are writing today as they examine the present, absorb their past and look toward to the future.

My favorite stories include 'Bregovich's Sixth Journey' by Oleg Zobern about a starving dog who is chain
This book was published in 2009 and contains 22 works by as many authors, the oldest of whom was just 40. The pieces are very recent, published between 2002 and 2009. 21 short stories and one excerpt from a novel.
The introduction noted that the writers in the collection were the first generation to spend their entire adult lives in the post-Soviet era. Many of these young authors had had works published in distinguished journals in Russia, and a number had won literary awards there.

As background
Jun 11, 2011 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this collection when taken as a whole is very interesting. A variety of writing styles, narrative lengths, and ethnic backgrounds represented. The Russian authors who wrote these stories are not trying to write for publication in American magazines so there is more variety than in many recent American collections. I found the different perspectives presented on some of the same events very interesting -- there are a variety of points of view provided for the Chechen war, including some ...more
Tipsy Pixy
Oct 25, 2012 Tipsy Pixy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this on good reads and seems how it is a collection of short stories, I will review each story and then say what I think about the book as a whole. I think that this is fair to both the reader and the stories themselves.

They Talk: Very well written and it takes a little to get used to at first. It is done as though the writer were in a public place listening in on other peoples conversations and these are the sip its that he found interesting. I would have to give it 5/5.
Kent Disch
An interesting, if very uneven, collection of stories by modern Russian writers. Many of the stories were worth the time, just as many got 2 pages and then skipped over.
Dec 18, 2012 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
These stories (which is what rasskazy means in Russian) come from the latest generation of Russian writers, born between 1969 and 1982, who grew up as: the Soviet Union stumbled through the seventies and eighties, and finally fell to pieces; Boris Yeltsin drank and danced through years of violence, chaos and corruption; and Vladimir Putin re-established a semblance of order through censorship and the re-centralization of power. These writers come a generation after the caustic allegories of Vikt ...more
Rasskazy is a collection of short stories (twenty-two, to be exact) by contemporary Russian authors. All the authors are relatively young; there's a list of contributors in the back of the book with information about each writer, and nearly all of them were born in the 1970s or later. It gives the stories an interesting perspective, since most of them came of age after the Soviet Union disbanded.

I thought the stories were a mixed bag. Some I loved (Drill and Song Day, One Year in Paradise), some
Eveline Chao
Overall it was interesting to know what's being written today in Russia, but unless you have a pre-existing fascination with Russia to keep you going (as I do), it's not a terribly worthwhile slog. There are three or four good, absorbing stories in the mix, and these Chechen war stories by Arkady Babchenko which are absolutely incredible, but most of the stories I found boring despite trying really hard to like them. The good stories are SO good though that they made me give this 3 stars in the ...more
A truly, profoundly excellent collection which presents a stunningly eclectic, and altogether unnerving, series of narratives. The stories tend to vary in quality (presumably due to authorship), though overall the level is quite high. I suppose that's really all that steals the perfect score from Rasskazy- the inconsistency. For every superb and technically brilliant piece (the opener in particular comes to mind), there are one or two others that are a bit of a slog by comparison, which for shor ...more
Mar 27, 2011 Verity rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-challenge
I was able to read all but one story and that one was like reading a literal translation of an original Latin text by someone who did not understand that there were no punctuations in ancient Rome and has decided not to do so with the translation.

The remaining stories are well worth the time.
I won this on first-reads.

I like that this book gives someone who has never been to Russia an idea of what it is like there. I really appreciated that there were different authors compiled in this book to give a range of views and topics to examine.
Steve Hayden
Just finished reading Rasskazy. It is a book of short stories from current Russian writers. There's some dark stuff in here but also some stuff that is pretty good. It is a good way to check out what Russia feels like these days.
Jul 25, 2012 Cat. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good stories. I picked this up at ALA, but it is really only a sampler. I need to find the whole book and read the rest of them.

(abbreviated advanced reader's copy)
Jun 05, 2011 Jeff rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Most of these stories stumble over the fine line between existential and pointless. Couldn't finish the book.
Mar 27, 2010 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There were some really excellent stories in this, but there were a couple of duds, as well.
Jan 12, 2012 Bruce rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tossed
Stories from the new Russia. It was so depressing I couldn't finish it.
Mar 31, 2015 Janna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible post-Soviet writing that is unlike anything else...
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