Fight for Your Long Day, the original adjunct novel, won the 2011 IPPY Gold Medal for Best Fiction from the Mid-Atlantic Region. In 2016, it was reprinted as a corrected Classroom Edition by Hard Ball Press, and my second novel, Auggie's Revenge, was released by Beating Windward Press. In 2015, summer e-singles "Frade Killed Ellen" (Dutch Kills Press) and "Turquoise Truck" (Mendicant Bookworks) were published. Please see my author pages at Amazon or Goodreads for more information.
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Top Ten Russian Novels!
L.U.S.K. is excited to feature a guest post from Aisha O'Connor-Fratus, writer, editor, parent, and blogger at Hell's Domestic Backside. Enjoy this list of Aisha's ten favorite Russian novels:
1. Anna Karenina
(Lev Tolstoy, 1873 to 1877). Anna is rich and bored. Anna hates the way her
husband chews his food. Count Vronsky—played by Christopher Reeve, so handsome)
sweeps Anna off her feet! But things do not end well for Anna.
2. The Brothers
Karamazov (Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1880). Not about a traveling circus acrobatic
troupe. Its sweeping explorations of God, free agency, and morality are
timeless and haunting. My favorite part is Ivan’s reciting of the poem “The
Grand Inquisitor” in which Christ is resurrected during the Spanish
3. Crime and
Punishment (Dostoevsky, 1866). Life-long graduate student Rodion
Raskolnikov tries to justify an unspeakably immoral act with eugenics and hey—a
guy needs to eat.
4. Rudin (Ivan
Turgenev, 1856). Dmitry Rudin talks the talk, but boy does he not walk the walk.
Or is it talks the walk? Either way, he fails to get laid.
5. The Life and
Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin (Vladimir Voinovich,
1969). A peasant drafted into the Red Army is forgotten by his unit in a remote
village (every Russian village is remote, natch) because he’s just not that
memorable. The fellow takes care of a garden instead. Slapstick hilarity
6. One Day in the
Life of Ivan Denisovich (Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 1962). Life in a Soviet
prison labor camp is not as fun as you think it is.
7. Moscow 2042
(Vladimir Voinovich, 1986). A utopian-dystopian future in which Moscow becomes
the communist epicenter of Russia. Like Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid’s Tale), Voinovich has called his novel “prophetic.”
8. Hope Against
Hope: A Memoir (Nadezhda Mandelstam, 1970). Not a novel, but personal
memoir forms the backbone of modern Russian lit, in my opinion. The wife of
exiled poet Osip Mandelstam details the unthinkable hardships she endured
during the Stalinist era.
9. Fathers and Sons
(Ivan Turgenev, 1862). Like A River
Runs Through It, but without the boring fly fishing, Brad Pitt, and Robert
Redford’s droning voiceover. All the cool kids are embracing nihilism, but
Pavel Kirsanov is having none of it.
10. War and Peace (Lev
Tolstoy, 1869). Has anyone actually finished this book? I have not. Napoleon
invades Russia. Beyond that, I have no more to say.
Iain Levison's Dog Eats Dog was published in October, 2008 by Bitter Lemon Press and his even newer novel How to Rob an Armored Car will be published by Soho Press in October, 2009. Back in '00 or so, L.U.S.K. first discovered Levison's A Working Stiff's Manifesto in hardcover with its original subtitle, "Confessions of a Wage Slave." That memoir established Levison's scalding wit and ability to hold the attention of an ever-tweeting audience. It was later released as a trade paperback with a supercharged second subtitle, and Levison has managed to survive, publish, and publish again. With long-terms roots in Scotland and Philadelphia, Levison currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina where he commits literature and carpentry as much as he can.
USK: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer and when did you first identify as a writer? IL: Writing is the only thing I've ever been any good at. Well, the only legal thing. Early on, I realized t…