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Snow in May
by Kseniya Melnik


Overview -

A "Minneapolis Star Tribune" Best Book of 2014 Recommended by "The New Yorker," The New York Public Library, Alan Cheuse of "NPR," " Grantland" Shortlisted for the 2014 International Dylan Thomas Prize Longlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award

A "ruminative lovely accomplished" ("The New York Times Book Review") and "touching" ("The Seattle" Times) debut collection of stories that "sparkles with the brilliance and charm of Chekhov." (Simon Van Booy, award-winning author of" Love Begins in Winter" and "The Illusion of Separateness")

Kseniya Melnik's "Snow in May" introduces a cast of characters bound by their relationship to the port town of Magadan in Russia's Far East, a former gateway for prisoners assigned to Stalin's forced-labor camps.  Read more...


 
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More About Snow in May by Kseniya Melnik
 
 
 
Overview

A "Minneapolis Star Tribune" Best Book of 2014 Recommended by "The New Yorker," The New York Public Library, Alan Cheuse of "NPR," " Grantland" Shortlisted for the 2014 International Dylan Thomas Prize Longlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award

A "ruminative lovely accomplished" ("The New York Times Book Review") and "touching" ("The Seattle" Times) debut collection of stories that "sparkles with the brilliance and charm of Chekhov." (Simon Van Booy, award-winning author of" Love Begins in Winter" and "The Illusion of Separateness")

Kseniya Melnik's "Snow in May" introduces a cast of characters bound by their relationship to the port town of Magadan in Russia's Far East, a former gateway for prisoners assigned to Stalin's forced-labor camps. Comprised of a surprising mix of newly minted professionals, ex-prisoners, intellectuals, musicians, and faithful Party workers, the community is vibrant and resilient and life in Magadan thrives even under the cover of near-perpetual snow. By blending history and fable, each of Melnik's stories transports us somewhere completely new: a married Magadan woman considers a proposition from an Italian footballer in '70s Moscow; an ailing young girl visits a witch doctor's house where nothing is as it seems; a middle-aged dance teacher is entranced by a new student's raw talent; a former Soviet boss tells his granddaughter the story of a thorny friendship; and a woman in 1958 jumps into a marriage with an army officer far too soon.

Weaving in and out of the last half of the twentieth century, "Snow in May" is an inventive, gorgeously rendered, and touching portrait of lives lived on the periphery where, despite their isolation and perhaps because of it the most seemingly insignificant moments can be beautiful, haunting, and effervescent.a"

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781627790079
  • ISBN-10: 1627790071
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
  • Publish Date: May 2014
  • Page Count: 272
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Short Stories (single author)
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-03-17
  • Reviewer: Staff

Melnik models her debut on J.D. Salinger’s Nine Stories by creating nine slice-of-life portraits that introduce us to a series of interrelated characters living in Magdan, Russia. The protagonists live in different decades, vary in age, and each experience different trials—yet they all carry the soul of Magdan. The stories involve the KGB, Russian dance, witch doctors, unhealthy love, neglected children, and inescapable poverty. The thematic explorations of the collection are similarly far-ranging: the inner battle between desire and responsibility (“Love, Italian Style, or in Line for Bananas”); the tendency to over-idealize the past (“Closed Fracture”); the demons of addiction (“Strawberry Lipstick”); and the sacrifices required to love freely (“Our Upstairs Neighbor”) . Although each of the nine stories can stand on its own, they have a cumulative effect when read together. Melnik tackles tragic subject matter while dramatizing daily struggles, giving equal weight to both. With dry humor and detailed description, Melnik creates a historically enlightening time capsule of an unfamiliar world. (May)

 
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