Northern Illinois University Press

Stories from a Siberian Village

Vasily Shukshin

Translated by Laura Michael and John Givens

Foreword by Kathleen Parthé

"Shukshin will not die. After 30 years, these stories have come to us with an excellent introduction by John Givens to go with his and Laura Michael's translation."—Martin Cruz Smith, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"A generous collection of 25 stories by the popular and charismatic Russian author."—Kirkus Reviews

"Shukshin excels in the short story.... A wonderful collection."—Library Journal

A cultural phenomenon in his day—an award-winning film director and actor who also wrote novels, plays, and movie scripts—Vasily Shukshin (1929–1974) is renowned for his mastery of the short story. Credited with revitalizing the short story as a genre in Russian literature, he was posthumously honored with the Soviet Union's highest literary prize following his untimely death at the age of forty-five.

Stories from a Siberian Village introduces Shukshin to English readers with twenty-five stories that reflect the Siberian origins of his artistic identity. These stories, most of which have never before appeared in English, are set in a remote Siberian village caught in transition between rural traditions and modern Soviet life. There Shukshin's peasants—survivors of revolution, collectivization, and war—seek their identity in a "brave new world."

Eccentrics and oddballs, Shukshin's protagonists are restless freedom seekers whose dreams and foibles are as broad and inexplicable as their native Siberian landscape. As touchy as artists and as unpretentious as truck drivers, they struggle with questions of life and death, faith and reason, custom and progress. From their mutual misapprehensions and the gap between their dreams and reality arises Shukshin's biting humor.

(1996) 304 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-87580-572-6
Paper $20.00s

Table of Contents

Foreword: Kathleen Parthé
Introduction: John Givens
Country Folk
I Believe!
Cutting Them Down to Size
The Microscope
Tough Guy
Ignakha's Come Home
My Son-in-Law Stole a Truckload of Wood!
Mille Pardons, Madame!
Stenka Razin
All by Themselves
A Roof Over Your Head
Alyosha at Large
Passing Through
Let's Conquer the Heart!
Vanka Teplyashin
In the Autumn
From the Childhood Years of Ivan Popov
Uncle Yermolai
List of Major Works of Vasily Shukshin

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ISBN: 978-0-87580-572-6
paper $20.00