The Loss by Vladimir Makanin
A Novella and Two Short Stories (Writings from an Unbound Europe)

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Synopsis

The novella and two short stories that make up this volume were written at three different periods in Makanin's life, yet they are united by their narrative and stylistic invention, their range of human emotion, and the profound humanity of their prose. Though banished and suppressed in the Brezhnev era, Makanin is now recognized as one of Russia's leading writers.

In his celebrated short story "The Prisoner of the Caucasus," two Russian soldiers take a Chechen prisoner during the war, and as events unfold, Makanin reveals the casual brutality of the war but also the secret truths of the character's lives. In the novella The Loss, Pekalov, a drunkard and dreamer obsessed with the idea of building a tunnel under the Ural River, disappears in a ditch while working and is made a saint by the people of his village. "Klyucharyov and Alimushkin" tells the story of what happens when one man becomes remarkably lucky while the other loses all his luck.
 

About Vladimir Makanin

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Makanin was born in Orsk, educated as a mathematician at Moscow University, and first published as a writer in 1966
 
Published July 22, 1998 by Northwestern University Press. 154 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The title novella, about its obsessive protagonist whose efforts to dig a tunnel beneath the Ural River earn him eventual canonization, wheezes with conventional and predictable ironies—as does “Klycharov and Alimushkin,” a fable-like tale of its title characters’ crisscrossing and conflicting de...

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Publishers Weekly

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Best known in this country for the last story of this uneven collection, ""The Prisoner of the Caucasus"" (which inspired a movie with a similar title), Makanin grapples with large philosophical themes about what composes a man's identity and how to live a worthwhile life.

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