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Out of Russia

Fictions of a New Translingual Diaspora


Publication Year: 2011

Out of Russia is the first scholarly work to focus on a group of writers who, over the past decade, have formed a distinct phenomenon: immigrants with cultural and linguistic roots in Russia who have chosen to write in the language of their adopted countries. The best known among these are Andreï Makine, who writes in French, Wladimir Kaminer, who writes in German, and Gary Shteyngart, who writes in English.

Published by: Northwestern University Press

Series: Studies in Russian Literature and Theory


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

Earlier versions of portions of this book have appeared in Literary Imagination, The Russian Review, Slavic Review, and Canadian Slavonic Papers. "Gained in Translation: Andreï Makine's Novel Le testament français" was published in Literary Imagination 4, no. 1 (Winter 2002): 111-26; "Wladimir Kaminer: A Russian Picaro Conquers Germany" in The Russian...

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pp. 3-18

THIS BOOK IS ABOUT a group of contemporary Soviet-born émigrés who left their country of origin to become writers in languages other than Russian. Even though they have abandoned their native tongue as a medium of literary expression, most of them maintain, or manufacture, a strong Russian identity in their fictionalized self- representation. Paradoxically, as Jews, which many of these writers...

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1. Andreï Makine: "Seeing Russia in French"

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pp. 19-49

ANDREÏ MAKINE became an international celebrity in 1995 when his novel Le testament français received both the Prix Goncourt and the Prix Médicis. This was the first time that a single writer was simultaneously honored with the two most prestigious French literary awards. In addition, Makine's book also received the Goncourt des Lycéens prize...

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2. Russianness for German Consumption

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pp. 50-88

WITH AN ESTIMATED 3.5 TO 4 million Russian native speakers on its territory, Germany currently hosts the largest number of Russian- speaking immigrants of any country in the world.1 The majority of them (about 2.5 million) consist of so-called Russian-German "Spätaussiedler" (late re- migrants) from the territory of the former Soviet...

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3. Boris Zaidman: A "Russian" in Israel

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pp. 89-94

ISRAEL REPRESENTS a special case among the countries that became recipients of Soviet and post- Soviet émigrés. Even though in absolute terms more Russian speakers have settled in Germany, in Israel they constitute a much larger share of the general population. The approximately one million Russian- speaking immigrants who have arrived...

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4. Gary Shteyngart: The New Immigrant Chic

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pp. 95-133

GARY SHTEYNGART'S stellar literary career looks like the classic American immigrant success story. Born in Leningrad in 1972, Shteyngart emigrated with his parents to the United States in 1979, where he attended Hebrew school and Peter Stuyvesant High School in New York and later graduated from Oberlin College with a degree in political science. His...

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5. The Rise of the "Russian Debutantes"

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pp. 134-187

GARY SHTEYNGART'S COMPLAINT in his 2005 interview with Radio Liberty that "our young generation [of Russian immigrants] doesn't write anything"1 has become outdated very fast. Shteyngart himself probably would have been rather incredulous had he been told that just a few years after the appearance of his debut novel he would...

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pp. 188-196

THE PRESENT BOOM in Russian immigrant fiction shows no sign of abating. The phenomenon has begun to spill over from the publishing industry into academia, where literary scholars have begun to take notice of the new trend as well. At the annual convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies in 2009, no fewer than...


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pp. 197-232


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pp. 233-242


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pp. 243-254

E-ISBN-13: 9780810165519
Print-ISBN-13: 9780810127609
Print-ISBN-10: 0810127601

Page Count: 262
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: New
Volume Title: 1
Series Title: Studies in Russian Literature and Theory
Series Editor Byline: Gary Saul Morson See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 794698880
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Out of Russia

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Subject Headings

  • Fiction -- 21st century -- History and criticism.
  • Fiction -- Russian authors -- History and criticism.
  • National characteristics, Russian, in literature.
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