Just Dying for It: On Tolstoy’s “Lives and Deaths: Essential Stories”
Bob Blaisdell gets to the bottom of Leo Tolstoy’s “Lives and Deaths: Essential Stories,” translated by Boris Dralyuk.
The Stars Her Destination: On Sara Wheeler’s “Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia with Pushkin and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age”
Bob Blaisdell tags along with Sara Wheeler through “Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia with Pushkin and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age.”
The Good Doctor: On Maxim Osipov’s “Rock, Paper, Scissors”
Bob Blaisdell appreciates “Rock, Paper, Scissors: And Other Stories” by Maxim Osipov, translated by Boris Dralyuk, Alex Fleming, and Anne Marie Jackson.
Granted: The Best
Bob Blaisdell pores over “The Annotated Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant” and “My Dearest Julia: The Wartime Letters of Ulysses S. Grant to His Wife.”
Tolstoy Untangled: On Donna Tussing Orwin’s “Simply Tolstoy”
Bob Blaisdell appreciates “Simply Tolstoy” by Donna Tussing Orwin.
Risky Rasskazy: Mikhail Zoshchenko’s Thoroughly Unsentimental “Sentimental Tales”
Bob Blaisdell considers the six longer stories collected in Mikhail Zoshchenko’s “Sentimental Tales,” newly translated by Boris Dralyuk.
Daddy’s Issues: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s “Spring”
If you still haven’t tried Knausgaard or have been unsatisfied with his helplessly casual "New York Times" travel essays, try "Spring."
A new memoir about refugee teenagers in a Denver high school.
A Brilliant Mind’s Pauses: The Fiction of Russia’s Greatest Poet
Bob Blaisdell praises the prose of Russia’s greatest poet, Alexander Pushkin.
What Rubbish They Publish
The Prank proves Anton Chekhov could write hilarious stories from an early age.
An Anna Is an Anna Is an Anna
Translators of Anna Karenina are wonderful — except for their annoying habit of denigrating the work of earlier ones.
Mentors: Marvin Mudrick
MARVIN MUDRICK CREATED the College of Creative Studies at U.C. Santa Barbara in 1967, and was its provost until two