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ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS: Stories from twenty-first century Russia

Maxim Osipov, who lives and practices medicine in a town ninety miles outside Moscow, is one of Russia’s best contemporary writers. In the tradition of Anton Chekhov and William Carlos Williams, he draws on his experiences in medicine to write stories of great subtlety and striking insight. Osipov’s fiction presents a nuanced, collage-like portrait of life in provincial Russia—its tragedies, frustrations, and moments of humble beauty and inspiration. The twelve stories in this volume depict doctors, actors, screenwriters, teachers, entrepreneurs, local political bosses, and common criminals whose paths intersect in unpredictable yet entirely natural ways: in sickrooms, classrooms, administrative offices and on trains and in planes. Their encounters lead to disasters, major and minor epiphanies, and—on occasion—the promise of redemption.

With translator Alex Fleming. This event is organised by Pushkin Club and all are welcome.

Maxim Osipov (b. 1963) is a writer and cardiologist with work and research experience in both Russia and the USA. He is the author of numerous essays, short stories, plays and novellas, and his sixth collection of works, Kilometer 101, was published by Ivan Limbakh Press (St. Petersburg) in 2019. He has won a number of prizes, including the Yury Kazakov prize for the best short story, and his plays have been staged across Russia. His literary works have been translated into sixteen languages, and a selection of his stories in English has just been published by The New York Review of Books (NYRB Classics) in April 2019. He is currently based in Tarusa, a small town 115 km from Moscow.

 Alex Fleming is a literary translator from Swedish and Russian into English. Her translations include works by Maxim Osipov, Cilla Naumann and Therése Söderlind, with a focus on contemporary literary and children’s fiction. She holds an MA in Translation Theory and Practice from UCL, and in 2015 she was awarded the British Centre for Literary Translation’s Emerging Translator mentorship for Russian.