In the hungry and chilly Moscow autumn of 1921, a poorly dressed young man knocked on the door of the daughter of a former tsarist general-turned-communist. The stranger asked the young woman, a typist, whether she would work for him on credit, promising to pay as soon as his book was published. It was called Notes on the Cuffs, and the author dictated it from scraps of paper and notebooks.
In our series dedicated to famous Russian authors from the 20th century who remain largely unknown in the West, we present Andrei Platonov. It is difficult to imagine a better novelist who embodied the ambitions and ambiguities, energies and tensions of the young Soviet state and life in the 1920s and 1930s.
Some say there are only three Russian writers that the Western reader is familiar with: Tolstoy, Dostoevsky and Chekhov. Meanwhile, the gold reserves of Russian literature include dozens of names. We are launching a series dedicated to famous Russian authors who remain largely unknown in the West. One such author from the 20th century is Mikhail Zoshchenko.