DescriptionNever before translated into English, Lame Fate is the first-person account of middle-aged author Felix Sorokin. When the Soviet Writers' Union asks him to submit a writing sample to a newfangled machine that can supposedly evaluate the "objective value" of any literary work, he faces a dilemma. Should he present something establishment-approved but middling, or risk sharing his unpublished masterpiece, which has languished in his desk drawer for years? Sorokin's masterwork is Ugly Swans, previously published in English as a standalone work but presented here in an authoritative new translation. Ugly Swans chronicles the travails of disgraced literary celebrity Victor Banev, who returns to his provincial hometown to find it haunted by the mysterious clammies--black-masked men residing in a former leper colony. Possessing supernatural talents, including the ability to control the weather, the clammies terrify the town's adult population but enthrall its teenagers, including Banev's daughter Irma. Together, Lame Fate and Ugly Swans illuminate some of the Strugatskys' favorite themes--the (im)possibility of political progress, the role of the individual in society, the nature of honor and courage, and the enduring value of art--in consummately entertaining fashion.
Chicago Review Press
August 04, 2020
5.4 X 8.4 X 1.0 inches | 1.1 pounds
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About the Author
Arkady and Boris Strugatsky were famous and popular Russian writers of science fiction, with more than twenty-five novels and novellas to their names, including The Inhabited Island, The Doomed City, Hard to Be a God, Monday Starts on Saturday, The Snail on the Slope, and Roadside Picnic. Their books have been widely translated and made into a number of films. Maya Vinokour is an award-winning translator and assistant professor in the department of Russian and Slavic studies at NYU. Her translations have appeared in the New Yorker, Fence, Columbia Journal, and World Literature Today.