Translated by Boris Dralyuk
A collection of “electric, heroically wrought” Russian short stories of violence, crime, and sex set in Ukraine—for fans of hard-boiled fiction by Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett (John Updike)
Odessa was a uniquely Jewish city, and the stories of Isaac Babel—a Jewish man, writing in Russian and born in Odessa—uncover its tough underbelly around the time of the Russian Revolution. Gangsters, prostitutes, beggars, smugglers: no one escapes the pungent, sinewy force of Babel’s pen.
From the tales of the magnetic cruelty of Benya Krik—infamous mob boss, and one of the great anti-heroes of Russian literature—to the devastating semi-autobiographical account of a young Jewish boy caught up in a pogrom, this collection of stories is considered one of the great masterpieces of twentieth-century Russian literature.
Translated with precision and sensitivity by Boris Dralyuk, whose rendering of the rich Odessan argot is pitch-perfect, Odessa Stories is the first ever stand-alone collection of Babel’s narratives set in the city and includes the original stories as well as later tales.
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