The Tattered Cloak and Other Stories

The Tattered Cloak and Other Stories

by Nina Berberova
     
 

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First published in Europe in the 1930s and '40s, these searing, evocative stories by the late Russian expatriate writer Nina Berberova (1901-1993) are portraits of the lives of Russian exiles in Paris on the eve of World War II. The protagonists range from housekeepers and waiters to shabby-genteel aristocrats and intellectuals -- but all are united in a haunting

Overview

First published in Europe in the 1930s and '40s, these searing, evocative stories by the late Russian expatriate writer Nina Berberova (1901-1993) are portraits of the lives of Russian exiles in Paris on the eve of World War II. The protagonists range from housekeepers and waiters to shabby-genteel aristocrats and intellectuals -- but all are united in a haunting displacement from their pasts, and all share a troubling uncertainty about the future.

Editorial Reviews

Anne Tyler
Haunting ... as graceful and subtle as Chekhov. —New Republic
Los Angeles Times
A splendid, tragically beautiful writer capable of drawing unforgettable characters ... sublime.
Newsweek
First rate.... These stories are very much of their time, but the years haven't tarnished them...
Review of Contemporary Fiction
Berberova ... will not turn her back on he past to re-create herself. She remembers so we won't forget.
She remembers so we won't forget.
Context
RALPH Magazine
[W]e are in the hands of a divine master.
Robert Buckeye
She remembers so we won't forget.
Context
Kirkus Reviews
A collection of six novellas, first published in English two years before Berberova's death in 1993. The Russian novelist and biographer (of poet Aleksandr Blok), born in 1901, spent many of her final years as a professor at Princeton, but the stories here are more reflective of her life as an exile in Paris from 1922 through the early '50s, when most of these were originally published. As Kirkus noted in 1991, when Schwartz's translation first saw print (April 1, p. 482): these pieces are "quintessentially Russian in mood and theme." Berberova's émigrés find it difficult to adjust to life in Paris; their past lives compete with their present exile—the tales are peopled with history's victims. Our review commented on the "unrelieved bleakness," but praised the economical telling and the skillful execution. Still, we found these stories "too cerebral" and "too carefully crafted to move."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811214735
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
06/28/2001
Series:
Classics Ser.
Pages:
307
Product dimensions:
5.23(w) x 8.03(h) x 0.84(d)

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