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Aetherial Worlds by Tatyana Tolstaya

Aetherial Worlds

Aetherial Worlds by Tatyana Tolstaya
Mar 20, 2018 | 256 Pages
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    Mar 20, 2018 | 256 Pages

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    Mar 20, 2018 | 256 Pages

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“Grimly hilarious…Everything in this generous writer’s hands is vivid and alive…Tolstaya is divinely quotable—slangy, indignant, lyrical, crude…It’s all sublime…the swerve and cackle, the breeziness and dark depths…the torrents of language and the offhand perfect touch…She has been compared to Chekhov. Absurd…Tolstaya barrels by him and knocks him in the ditch.”
—Joy Williams, Bookforum

“Praised by…Joseph Brodsky as ‘the most original, tactile, luminous voice in Russian prose,’ Tolstaya, two decades on, is all that and more in this edgy, brash, slyly surreal, and mordantly funny short story collection…Tolstaya contrasts family troubles, poverty, lies, and tyranny with the ‘aetherial worlds’ of love, dreams, memories, and myths. Tolstaya’s daring, masterful stories, crisply translated, glint and whirl with extraordinary dimension and force.”

“Tolstaya’s writing is so good that it cuts through the surface directly to the universal workings of the human heart.”

“These uniformly masterful stories reject any attempt at easy categorization, resulting in a profound, surprising, and rich experience. Some stories…echo the lyricism of the Russian masters…Others are more essayistic…Some, such as ‘The Window,’ are surreal allegories in the manner of Gogol. While the works blend fantasy and fact, often within the same story, what unites them all is Tolstaya’s singular and assured voice, capable of beautiful specificity…and of surveying history from above and proclaiming, matter-of-factly, that ‘autocracy is basically self-explanatory.’”
 —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A poet of silences and small gestures, Tolstaya often writes of love, if sometimes love that has gone off the rails…Elegant, lyrical tales woven with melancholy and world-weariness—but also with a curious optimism. A gem.”
Kirkus (starred review)
“​Call off the search for Tatyana Tolstaya’s origins among the Russian greats: There’s no one like her anywhere, then or now. She is a writer of breathtaking originality, boldness and importance.”
—Thomas McGuane, author of Cloudbursts

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