Maxim Osipov and the Tarusa Hospital

A few months ago, together with my colleagues Alex Fleming and Nicolas Pasternak Slater, I began work on a new volume of stories and essays by Maxim Osipov, whose debut collection in English, Rock, Paper, Scissor, appeared from NYRB Classic in April of 2019. On his autumn book tour, Maxim was able to spend a few days in Los Angeles. Those few days were, for me, one of the greatest pleasures of a very pleasant 2019. Jenny and I were hoping to visit Maxim in Tarusa, Russia, in 2020, but the pandemic intervened. We’re all disappointed, of course, but there are far more important things to worry about.

Maxim is not only an author. He is also a highly qualified cardiologist, as well as the founder of the Endowment in Support of Tarusa Hospital. Joshua Yaffa, who profiled Maxim for The New Yorker, describes this well-staffed small-town facility as “one of the leading medical centers of its kind in the region, an example and inspiration for what health-care in provincial Russia can be — if led by a strong cadre of local doctors and supported by the generosity of a wide circle of well-wishers.” Now, in the face of the growing COVID-19 crisis, the hospital needs every bit of support it can get. Please visit this English-language page and help in any way you can, if only by spreading the word.

In the meantime, Alex, Nicolas, and I will continue to translate Maxim’s moving, multidimensional fiction and nonfiction. And if you’d like to hear him read his prose in Russian, you can do so live, via YouTube, in just over two hours. He’ll present his stories “Good People” (“Добрые люди”) and “Objects in Mirror” (“Фантазия”), which are both featured in Rock, Paper, Scissors, as well as the travelogue “Sventa,” which we’ll include in the forthcoming volume.

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