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Pushkin Hills


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About the Author

Sergei Dovlatov was born in Ufa, Bashkiria (U.S.S.R.), in 1941. He dropped out of the University of Leningrad after two years and was drafted into the army, serving as a guard in high-security prison camps. In 1965 he began to work as a journalist, first in Leningrad and then in Tallinn, Estonia. After a period of intense harassment by the authorities, he emigrated to the United States in 1978. He lived in New York until his death in 1990.


Praise for Pushkin Hills

"Broke and divorced, Boris has taken a job as a tour-guide at the Pushkin Hills Preserve, where he immediately goes about hilariously ridiculing the visitors and staff who so revere Pushkin. Dovlatov's short novel begins as a comedy but, rife with pathos, progresses toward a moving final act." -Publisher's Weekly, a Best Book of 2014

"This is a most satisfying read that sustains its humor and emotional resonance." -Publisher's Weekly

"The descent of the drunkard in Pushkin Hills, from qualified hope to utter despair, is arguably one of Dovlatov's greatest contributions to Russian literature." -New York Review of Books

"The preserve in "Pushkin Hills" works as kind of a microcosm of Russian life and politics - in which one's dedication to love of country is constantly being tested. Dovlatov recognizes that this sense of surreal political paranoia does have a humorous element..." -Christian Science Monitor

"Narrated in the first person, Alikhanov's hilarious observations of the community and people around him ("He was too lazy to put on a hat. He simply laid it on top of his head"), his alcoholic misadventures, and especially his ridicule of the Pushkin Hills Preserve tourists propel this comic but trenchant story. . .A most satisfying read that sustains its humor and emotional resonance."-Publishers Weekly

"A black comedy of eyes-wide-open excess [...] and a fine rumination on being Russian, besides." -Kirkus Reviews

"This is a most satisfying read that sustains its humor and emotional resonance." -Publisher's Weekly

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