|Part of Russo-Biblio-Extravaganza|
I picked Russian/Soviet and Russian/Soviet-American authors and books that I love for different reasons. There are so many more I could list!
- Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilych was the first really amazing work literature I read. I have a battered paperback I picked up for less than a dollar in a used bookstore when I was a kid and it will always, always be my favorite.
- Dostoevsky- a teacher in high school encouraged me to read The Idiot and Crime and Punishment, both favorites and amazing books.
- Vladimir Voinovich- his Monumental Propaganda is one of the funniest and best satires I've read.
- Ellen Litman's The Last Chicken in America is a wonderful and under-appreciated collection of short stories on the Russian-Jewish immigrant experience in this country at the end of the 20th century.
- Ludmila Ulitskaya- another wonderful novelist whose beautiful Medea and Her Children is a heartbreaking, gorgeous family saga.
- Vladimir Nabokov- It just doesn't get any better than Nabokov. Read him. Please. I recently reviewed The Real Life of Sebastian Knight but anything will do.
- Elena Gorokhova- A Mountain of Crumbs, her memoir about growing up in the 1960s and 1970s is a fluid, fascinating tale from the perspective a child through that of a young woman.
- Nikolai Maslov's graphic novel Siberia is simply amazing.
- David Benioff- I still tear up thinking about the wonderful twist at the end of his entertaining thriller City of Thieves.
- Ekaterina Sedia's urban fairy tale The Secret History of Moscow is a wonderful, light tale of the power of love in a world of chaos.
- Tina Grimberg's memoir Out of Line: Growing Up Soviet covers some of the same ground as Gorokhova's but for a young-adult audience. It's also unforgettable.
- Gary Shteyngart's Absurdistan will always be one of my all-time favorite novels with its lively voice and lovable, flawed and crazy Mischa.
- Sergei Lukanyenko's vampire novel Night Watch, first in a series of four, was a well-crafted and fun break from ordinary litfic reading for me.
- Yevgeny Zamyatin's We is a classic of dystopian literature.
- Mikhail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita is an amazing satire of religion, politics and more. I recently added a first edition of the English translation to my collection!