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Vyacheslav Alekseevich Pyetsukh was born in Moscow in 1946, trained as a historian, and taught Russian and world history until his literary activities made school officials so nervous they fired him. He has published numerous works of fiction in Russia, where his short stories appear regularly in such leading journals as Ogonek and Novy Mir. One of his short stories is included in the Penguin Book of New Russian Writing; another, "Me and the Sea," won the 1999 Emily Clark Balach Prize of the Virginia Quarterly Review. "Me and Perestroika" and "Me and the Duelists" are part of a cycle collectively titled "Me and So Forth."