cover image Glasnost: An Anthology of Russian Literature Under Gorbachev

Glasnost: An Anthology of Russian Literature Under Gorbachev

. Ardis Publishers, $39.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-87501-070-0

With these 10 short stories and novellas, the first in a projected two-volume anthology of new Soviet writing, the editors have avoided many ``big name'' authors to focus on those they consider more representative of the current upheaval in Soviet literature. Unfortunately, many of the plots are sentimental, in jarring contrast to the experimental nature of much of the prose itself. In ``Rough Weather,'' Bashkirian writer Anatoly Genatulin describes the death of a five-year-old lost in a forest when the members of her farm collective are too callous to look for her. Less saccharine are ``Our Crowd'' by Lyudmila Petrushevskaya, in which a wily mother dying from a rare disease tricks her ex-husband in order to ensure her son's future (the soft moralism of this story is given steel by acerbic descriptions of her young, bohemian crowd) and ``Left Behind'' by Vladimir Makanin, which includes a middle-aged man's reminiscences of his first love who left him for a member of a work brigade in Western Siberia and a taste of real life. This collection provides a tantalizing glimpse of what the Soviet public wants to read now. (July)