by Tatyana Tolstaya
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From one of contemporary Russia’s finest writers, a spellbinding collection of eighteen stories, her first to be translated into English in more than twenty years. Tolstaya’s ecstatic, witty and witchy imagination is in full force in autobiographical stories of delivering telegrams in Soviet Russia, conducting an affair with a man who may or may not exist, imagining a world without Italy (‘Nothing, nothing exists – there is no pasta, no Fellini, no pizza…) and, in the central story, recounting memories of summers spent in the family dacha and a time lost forever. Beginning in Soviet Russia and setting off across the globe from Italy to France, Crete to America, this is a masterful collection by a brilliantly original writer.