Openings: Original Essays by Contemporary Soviet and American Writers

Robert Atwan, Other University of Washington Press $0 (319p) ISBN 978-0-295-96968-8
Commissioned by the Seattle Goodwill Games of 1990, Openings is a collection of essays comparing and contrasting the societies of the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Seven major aspects of culture are covered--history, geography, art, literature, science, sports and way of life--with each addressed in two essays, one by an American and one by a Soviet. Unfortunately, several of these pieces are either too specific or too general to be satisfyingly informative. For example, in literary critic Aleksandr Mulyarchik's essay on the literary climate of the Soviet Union over the past 70 years, the reader is lost in a forest of facts that demand more historical background than is given. Standout writings are Joyce Carol Oates's evaluation of the contemporary literary scene in the U.S. and short-story writer Viktor Potanin's rumination on the effect of Russian artistic culture on the future of his young son. The artwork and photographs are arranged haphazardly and are only superficially related to the text. Atwan edits the annual Best American Essays series; Vinokurov is a Soviet writer and editor. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 319 pages - 978-0-295-96990-9
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