The Songs of Sergei Dovlatov

Pushkin Hills

by Sergei Dovlatov, translated from the Russian by Katherine Dovlatov, with an afterword by James Wood
Counterpoint, 163 pp., $24.00

In a less punishing country than Russia, Sergei Dovlatov would have been a popular writer whose revolutionary approach to writing would have been obscured by the lightness of tone, brevity, and apparent simplicity of most of his work. The public would have loved him, but most critics would have been disdainful of the vulgarity of his characters’ language and the apparently autobiographical nature of most of his writing. But Dovlatov lived in the Soviet Union, where his fiction could not be published, so he was denied the popularity he deserved.

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