Wednesday, December 14, 2016

A Very Russian Christmas: the Greatest Russian Holiday Stories of All Time / New Vessel Press, 147 pp.

I was enchanted by this collection with its quirky cover art, attractive binding, and quality paper.  This is a gathering of stories by known names such as Tolstoy and Chekhov and Soviet-era names that were new to me, such as Korolenko and Lukashevich, with a variety of translators.   I was still enchanted after reading, but be warned...nobody says, "God bless us, everyone," here.  It's Russia, it's winter, and life is tough.  Stuff happens, even at Christmas.

I enjoyed every page, but my favorite was Chekhov's A Woman's Kingdom, in which Anna Akimovna, the proprietress of a factory inherited from her uncle, contemplates her single life, the condition of her workers, and the meaning of the Christmas holiday over Christmas Eve and day.  Compact yet richly detailed.

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