Merry-Making in Old Russia

Cloth Text – $62.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-1326-8

Trade Paper – $22.00

ISBN 978-0-8101-1327-5
Publication Date
September 1997
Page Count
218 pages
Trim Size
4 3/4 x 8

Merry-Making in Old Russia

and Other Stories
Evgeny Popov

Popov's short stories move from the village prose genre into the territory of the grotesque via the stark reality of late Soviet life. In a landscape peopled by sympathetic yet stunned characters caught between the harsh routine of everyday existence and the trappings of the modern world, these men and women resort to vodka and to tall tales, and to physical and verbal abuse, to dull the pain of the dehumanizing Soviet regime that is their lot.

About the Author

Evgeny Popov was bornin 1946 in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. Trained as a geologist, he made his literary debut in 1976 with the publication of two short stories. In 1979 he was expelled from the Soviet Writers' Union, having been allowed to join only a few months earlier. Until recent years he has been unread in the Soviet Union, while his short stories have been widely published in the West.

Robert Porter is senior lecturer in Russian Studies at Bristol University. He has translated Popov's Soul of a Patriot, also published by Northwestern University Press.
"[H]ilarious, gloomy, absurd. . . . Popov fits easily into the Russian and Soviet tragicomic tradition: his triumph in these matter-of-fact tales lies in his ability to point out the absurdities in late-Soviet reality while making the absurd seem real." --Publishers Weekly
"An improbably charming collection . . . from a contemporary storyteller who seems to have appropriated the raffish comic spirit of Russia's famed chronicler of small-town amorality and mayhem , the late Mikhail Zoshchenko . . . An extremely entertaining book." --Kirkus Reviews
"Popov demonstrates with skill and compassion the fine line that exists between humor and pain. . .This work is highly recommended for all literature collections." --Library Journal

"Popov is a latter-day Gogol." --Publishers Weekly