†The writing of Boris Mozhaev, available in English for the first time ever in this volume, stands out in terms of narrative style and bold sincerity amongst contemporary Russian writers already translated into English.†
His insight into Russian life, politics and society, and the rural community in particular, represents a unique voice among the great writers of the twentieth century, who fearlessly and, at great personal sacrifice, wrote what they knew to be the truth about everyday life in Russia. †
Mozhaev had to fight against Soviet censorship all his life and some of his works were suppressed for over twenty years before they were allowed to be published Ė always to great critical acclaim. †
When Mozhaevís story Lively was published, shortly after Alexander Solzhenitsynís famous story One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, it was no less of a cause cťlŤbre in Russian literary circles and society. †
Stylistically, he combines Chekhovís acute eye for detail, evident in his short stories with the wonderful humour and pathos of Gogol, expressed with a unique ear for rural wit and dialogue. †
Though the communist regime has collapsed and new leaders have emerged from the shadows, Mozhaevís stories still have a modern resonance and a chillingly poignant relevance, as those in power still conduct themselves with the same Soviet mindset and mentality as they did under the old regime. †
Mozhaevís writing, still regularly republished in Russia today, has not tarnished with time and it still bears its sharp, critical edge, as cutting as the day it was originally written. †
Through this volume of translations, Mozhaev is set to take his place amongst the great writers of contemporary Russia accessible to the English-speaking reader.
The translator has provided a wealth of background information and copious notes to help the reader better to understand the satire and enjoy the stories.
An Introduction about the life and career of Boris Mozhaev and his battle with Soviet censorship.†
A memoir by Alexander Solzhenitsyn about how he met Mozhaev and how they became lifelong friends.
Translations, each with a foreword, of the following stories:
One-and-a-half Square Metres (1970)
Old Mother Proshkina (1966)
The Saddler (1965)
A History of the Village of Brekhovo, Written by Petr Afanasievich Bulkin (1968)
Appendix I: The Politics of Soviet Literature: Soviet Realism, the 'Thaws' and Village Prose
Appendix II: A Brief Survey of the Soviet Farming System
Glossary of Terms
Suggested further reading