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#Russophonia: New Writing in Russian

February 2021

Aureliya Akmullayeva, from the triptych Daydreams. Courtesy of the artist.

This month we spotlight new writing in Russian. Much of the Russophone literary conversation takes place online, in a vibrant context of immediacy and responsiveness to social and political events, and is conducted by writers from a range of non-Russian backgrounds. The writers here address identity, feminism, war, and the particular nature of post-Soviet existence in work that subverts traditional notions of Russian literature. Alisa Ganieva portrays a car crash turned existential debate. Ukrainian poet Danyil Zadorozhnyi limns the agony of a country at war. Novelist Olga Breininger crashes a G20 summit, while poet Xenia Emelyanova refracts politics through a maternal lens. Alla Gorbunova flashes on disorienting scenes of daily life; slam poet Dinara Rasuleva interrogates nationality; Ksenia Zheludova puts lyric poetry to political use. And Galina Rymbu interviews editor and poet Ilya Danishevsky on bringing complex literary networks from the digital realm to a print readership. Guest editors Hilah Kohen and Josephine von Zitzewitz contribute an informative introduction to this scintillating literature.

blurry image of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in St. Petersburg behind a canal
Murashko olga, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons