77 article(s) translated from Russian

Slaves of Moscow

On October 30, 2012, a group of civil society activists in Moscow freed twelve slaves from the Produkty grocery store, owned by a Kazakhstani couple, Zhansulu Istanbekova and her husband, Saken Muzdybayev.…...

from “Adam’s Apple”

Georgii Izmailov, a successful St. Petersburg businessman, attends the glitzy, high-profile presentation of his own latest project, the largest business center in the city, together with his business partners…...

Texts Written without the Author’s Knowledge

The screech of streetcars falls silent. Juice trickles from a windfall pomegranate branching— as though a monster had grown through the rails or lung tissue rotted and the bronchi and vessels of…...

from “The Good Life Elsewhere”

Mingir, a village in the Hincesti region, was famous throughout Moldova for its residents, who habitually trafficked in kidneys. What’s more, the kidneys were their own. There were already thirty…...

Traders

Back in the early 1990s, when Wild-West capitalism came to Russia, I was a chelnok, or shuttle trader. My wife and I (we weren’t married at that stage) traveled the whole world in search of cheap…...

On the Moscow Metro and Being Gay

In the catalogue of sins in his Divine Comedy, which is as random as it is insanely detailed, Dante found room for the sin that “dared not speak its name” long before Oscar Wilde’s trial—one…...

On Uladzimir Niakliaeu

I recently read something that amused me: one poet was suggesting that we name a steamship after every one of his contemporaries. In his imagination, all his friends from the literary world took the shape…...

from “Butterfly Skin”

It is good to kill in winter. Especially if it has snowed overnight, and the ground is covered with a delicate blanket of white. You put the bound naked body on it. The blood from the wounds flows more…...

Petroleum Venus

“Vanya, why are you sitting in the dark?” “I’m looking at the picture,” came the imperturbable reply. “What picture?” What new fantasy had come into his mind?…...

Melanch

It was a winter morning when the Tangerine King rolled into my room. He was perfectly round and had a golden crown on his head. Otherwise I wouldn’t have recognized him. I didn’t know the reason…...

An Orange Lemon

Her day was not going well. Her cap had fallen in the dirt, and there was a gaping hole in the sleeve of her T-shirt. She hadn’t even felt it snag on anything.  And there was an angry bruise…...

Old Fazyl’s Advice

“One ought not to cause offense to people,” said Old Fazyl. “I try never to offend anyone. And one ought not to quarrel with people; it is dangerous to speak unkindly to them. Even if…...

From Resurrection to Sunday

from  resurrection to sunday  we cross off dates on the calendar waiting for salvation   it comes in an appearance of mountain air in the gas chamber of a city   silvery ants drag stones…...

None of Your Business

For a long time the fact that the Krivovs drank was something only their son knew. When it began, Yurka had just started first grade. In the beginning, the Krivovs were embarrassed by their disease and…...

Hello?

Have you ever traveled in an overcrowded bus? Rammed up against the window with your cheek squashed against the glass and the handrail bruising your ribs? No need to answer. Of course you have. No, really,…...

An Uncoincidence, a Noncoincidence

An uncoincidence, a noncoincidence. Oh, how broad are the earth’s estates, oh, how unthinkable is grace here. How unobtrusive is God's care, how many reasons to sob inconsolably. You thirst for…...

Drawings on a Soccer Ball

the last name of the player on the german team translates into russian as pig crawling up a blond graceful creature the polish boys got lost at the equator with nothing to breathe amidst the qualifying…...

Soul, you are a street

Soul, you are a street, leading into rain from the outskirts full of dry leaves: it is more humid closer to the central plaza—        I am a paving block and slipperiness.…...

Just Gone to Bed

Just gone to bed Oh well, not turning the light on Barefoot Jerking the shin back from the cold rim And nothing Something gripes inside and However I strain doesn’t come Remembered in horror M.P.…...

Babel in Paris

Babel loved plump women. Where there’s lots of flesh there’s lots of sweetness. Lots of warmth, heat, tenderness, there’s a caress of sunshine and a velvety splash of the sea. In the…...

From 2017

That night, under the muffled, machine-like sound of the rain, the professor dreamed that this woman had come to him. Naked and very skinny, she was as perfect as a Latin letter, a sample of a special…...

From “The Geographer Drank His Globe Away”

"Hey young fellow, it's your stop . . ." Sluzhkin was being prodded by the old guy on the opposite bench. He unglued his eyes, sprang onto his knees still in his sleeping bag, and shot a look through…...

The Siblings’ Watch

He walked, a flame before him, It seemed to have appeared behind one shoulder, then the other, There were not many people, there was no sun, before the demolition Of the house they stood the day before…...

Fragments from the Dollmaker’s Life

1 A woman tells the Dollmaker. —What happens in your shop Why do you spend all night and day in there It can't be for the sake of money You wouldn't have time to spend it anyway So why the…...

One Hundred and One Minutes . . .

. . . of sitting around the table and talking of voyages to faraway lands and strange events,—of how it all is, and how it may be, and how it always is, and, then again, infrequently; of secret plots…...