A cultural phenomenon in his day--an award-winning film director and actor who also wrote novels, plays, and movie scripts--Vasily Shukshin (1929-1974) is renowned for his mastery of the short story. Credited with revitalizing the short story as a genre in Russian literature, he was posthumously honored with the Soviet Union's highest literary prize following his untimely death at the age of forty-five. "Stories from a Siberian Village" introduces Shukshin to English readers with twenty-five stories that reflect the Siberian origins of his artistic identity. These stories, most of which have never before appeared in English, are set in a remote Siberian village caught in transition between rural traditions and modern Soviet life. There Shukshin's peasants--survivors of revolution, collectivization, and war--seek their identity in a "brave new world." Eccentrics and oddballs, Shukshin's protagonists are restless freedom seekers whose dreams and foibles are as broad and inexplicable as their native Siberian landscape. As touchy as artists and as unpretentious as truck drivers, they struggle with questions of life and death, faith and reason, custom and progress. From their mutual misapprehensions and the gap between their dreams and reality arises Shukshin's biting humor.
Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press