“Tolstaya’s voice is utterly her own, incorporating comic exaggeration, sly satire, bursts of lyricism and whimsy to intoxicating effect.” —National Post (Canada)
“Tolstaya demonstrates an impressive range in these 23 stories…[that encompass] political satire, flights of surrealism and realistic urban and domestic dramas, nearly all set in the Soviet era…Children, old folks and the struggling in-betweens–Tolstaya sees into all their hearts. Remarkable” —Kirkus
Tolstaya has a wholly distinctive voice, a quirky yet lyrical voice that blurs the line between poetry and prose, visionary magic and plain, old-fashioned description….She is an enormously gifted writer.
—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Tolstaya offsets layers of exquisitely constructed language with the colloquial and the idiomatic and in a similar way layers the commonplace with the supernatural. The creation of a brilliant jumble of motley metaphors is her gift – not plot, trajectory, or the arc of a story, but the plunge into the middle of dazzling verbiage, her bright universe.” —The Boston Phoenix
Praise for Tolstaya:
“Tolstaya is “considered by many critics and writers to be the foremost writer of her generation, a miniaturist whose stories combine the linguistic stardust of Vladimir Nabokov and the emotional wisdom of Anton Chekhov.” —The Washington Post
“If you can imagine a Magic Realist Chekhov, you’re getting close, but her voice is all her own.” —Alan Bilton, Nation.Cymru