André van Loon has written a superb review of — or rather, an essay on — Odessa Stories in the latest issue of The London Magazine (June/July 2017), and Uilleam Blacker shares his insight into Babel’s Odessa and Józef Wittlin’s (1896–1976) Lviv/Lwów/Lvov/Lemberg at the Los Angeles Review of Books. (Needless to say, I kept my mitts off Dr. Blacker’s piece, and am very grateful for his kind words.) This is the second LARB piece inspired by the very worthy City of Lions. We ran Jacob Mikanowski’s magnificently lyrical essay on the book in May. I’ll also take this opportunity to promote two more important LARB pieces on Slavic subjects: Cynthia Haven’s interview with Russian poet and public intellectual Maria Stepanova, and Louise Steinman’s conversation with Adam Zagajewski, one of Poland’s literary giants, who was also born in Lviv (then Lwów) in 1945.
In other news, I’ve completed my translation of Mikhail Zoshchenko’s Sentimental Tales — and am getting rather sentimental about it. Parting with Zoshchenko’s hilariously ham-handed narrator, I. V. Kolenkorov, is such sweet sorrow. I’ll write more about this cycle in the weeks to come.