Further Reading is a new feature on The Booklist Reader, designed to provide readers’ advisory for today’s headlines.
You can’t trip over a rock without hearing something about Russia these days. And what’s true for the news is also true for good, recent fiction for adults. The following recommended novels about Russia and Russians, linked to their excerpted Booklist reviews, each came out within the last calendar year.
Back to Moscow, by Guillermo Erades
The Hungry Duck is the hottest club in wide-open Moscow. In fact, that city in the nineties is, in a sense, the star of this often funny but politically incorrect debut novel.
The Bear and the Nightingale, by Katherine Arden
Gracefully threaded with Russian fairy tales and a tactile sense of place, Arden’s debut tells the story of Vasya, daughter of a supposed witch, in the northern reaches of medieval Russia.
The Language of Sisters, by Cathy Lamb
After years spent navigating the challenges of Communist Russia, the Kozlovsky family has carved out a new life in Oregon. The parents run a restaurant called Svetlana’s Kitchen, and the daughters have each found their niche in their adopted country.
Masha Regina, by Vadim Levental, translated by Lisa Hayden
An ambitious young auteur chooses film and Saint Petersburg over the stagnancy of her Russian hometown in a first novel that explores the costs of a life dedicated to artistic self-expression.
The Patriots, by Sana Krasikov
Idealistic and impetuous Brooklynite Florence Fein lands a job with the Soviet Trade Mission. She falls for a worldly Russian engineer, precipitating her reckless 1934 voyage to the Soviet Union, where her naïveté and brashness both endanger and empower her.