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Over the last twenty-five years Vladimir Sorokin has established himself as a provocative and unignorable presence in contemporary Russian literature, and The Queue, his first novel, is now recognized as a modern classic. Sorokin's brilliance-his formal daring, his keen eye and ear for the absurdities of life and language, his unequaled playfulness-is manifest in this sly comedy set during the late Soviet "years of stagnation." Thousands of citizens are in line for ...nobody knows quite what, but the rumors are flying. Leather or suede? Jackets, jeans? Turkish, Swedish, maybe even American? It doesn't matter-if something's for sale, it's time to queue up. The endless line of expectant, irritable, inquisitive, bored but never less than determined people has a life and a will of its own, and Sorokin, in a tour de force, conveys that life entirely through the ebb and flow of conversation. We get to know his characters as they joke and curse, flirt, fight over position in line, make love or break up, slurp down ice cream and vodka, run errands, fill out crossword puzzles, fall asleep and stand to attention again when morning comes around and the queue-which may be as long as life and as wide as the world-exercises its hypnotic hold. Sally Laird's translation of The Queue has been revised to reflect the changes in the latest Russian edition of Sorokin's youthful masterpiece, while in a new afterword Sorokin himself looks back with peculiar nostalgia on the bygone world of the Soviet Union.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781590172742
ISBN-10: 1590172744
Format: Paperback
(203mm x 128mm x 128mm)
Pages: 280
Imprint: NYRB Classics
Publisher: The New York Review of Books, Inc
Publish Date: 23-Oct-2008
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Vladimir Sorokin

Vladimir Sorokin was born in a small town outside of Moscow in 1955. He trained as an engineer at the Moscow Institute of Oil and Gas, but turned to art and writing, becoming a major presence in the Moscow underground of the 1980s. His work was banned in the Soviet Union, and his first novel, The Queue, was published by the famed emigre dissident Andrei Sinyavksy in France in 1983. In 1992, Sorokin's Collected Stories was nominated for the Russian Booker Prize; in 1999, the publication of the controversial novel Blue Lard, which included a sex scene between clones of Stalin and Khrushchev, led to public demonstrations against the book and to demands that Sorokin be prosecuted as a pornographer; in 2001, he received the Andrei Biely Award for outstanding contributions to Russian literature. Sorokin is also the author of the screenplays for the movies Moscow, The Kopeck, and 4, and of the libretto for Leonid Desyatnikov's The Children of Rosental, the first new opera to be commissioned by the Bolshoi Theater since the 1970s. He has written eleven novels, as well as numerous plays and short stories, and his work has been translated throughout the world. He lives in Moscow.

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