Archive for February, 2010

February 13, 2010


Sam Lipsyte’s forthcoming novel, The Ask, is being serialized in Five Chapters: Smart, edgy, dark, accelerated writing: Sam, who is a great friend of SLS, former two-time SLS-St. Petersburg faculty, comes closest, in our opinion, to becoming the new incarnation of Joseph Heller — providing a mordant, mirthlessly funny running comment on the sheer absurdity of the American… oh, any modern-day life we’re capable of recognizing, really.

February 13, 2010


A strongly worded, rather perceptive Mark Ames’s article in The Nation, on the steady rise of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe and, specifically, the detrimental effect on the overall situation in that respect of some of outgoing Ulraine President Victor Yushchenko’s latest ur-nationalistic moves, with this bracing quote from Dovid Katz:

Dovid Katz, a professor of Yiddish at Vilnius University in Lithuania, said, “This is a plague over the entire anti-Soviet, anti-Russian part of Eastern Europe, this adoration of fascists and racists. It’s an ultranationalism that is anti-Russian and anti-Semitic, that is a social illness.” Katz said that in Lithuania, for example, the government has been moving to prosecute only Jews among surviving veterans of the anti-Nazi Soviet partisans for alleged ‘war crimes’ against Lithuania–but they have yet to punish a single Nazi collaborator, despite the mass extermination of Jews by the Lithuanian units that enthusiastically carried out most of the killing.

read more »

February 12, 2010


Selina Cuff, the Nairobi-based British journalist, has an article on the perspectives of contemporary Kenyan literarure and arts on the Open Democracy site: Yours Truly was interviewed for the piece, and SLS-Kenya is mentioned prominently in it.

February 11, 2010


Former SLS-St. Petersburg participant Emilie Staat writes:


I wish I could attend the New York reunion and that I had more concrete news to share about my book, but for the moment:

Emilie Staat is astonished daily that she’s a freelance writer in New Orleans. She’s finishing the third draft of her novel, The Winter Circus, the first draft of which was workshopped in SLS’s St. Petersburg, Russia program in 2007. She blogs about life, writing and New Orleans at:


February 11, 2010


Anne Sorbie (SLS-St. Petersburg-’06) writes from Calgary, AB:

Greetings SLS friends!

I’m writing to let you know that y first novel, “Memoir of a Good Death,” is forthcoming with Thistledown Press in September 2010.

Best wishes for a great reunion in NYC!

Our congratulations!


February 11, 2010


From Jayne Ann Phillips, one of SLS’s most favorite people:

Former SLS faculty member Jayne Anne Phillips’ new novel, Lark & Termite, was a National Book Award nominee in fiction, and is also a finalist for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award in Fiction (announced in March).  Jayne Anne Phillips is the Director of the Rutgers-Newark MFA Program.

February 9, 2010


Via SLS’s Laima Sruoginis — new, and very interesting and powerful, updates from Vilnius, Lithuania, on Baltic Reports:

February 9, 2010


St. Petersburger Ekaterina Taratuta‘s quirky, imaginative fiction, 101 Minutes — one of the brightest discoveries of the SLS-Russia 2007 “Tamizdat” Russian Literary Contest — on the Words Without Borders website, in Anna Barker’s strong, finely nuanced translation: Ekaterina (Katya), professor of philosophy at St. Petersburg State University, is a good friend of the SLS program.

February 7, 2010


Angie Lee writes:

I was an SLS-St. Petersburg-2008 participant, and one of my stories has just come out in the current issue of Witness. the story is called “Eupcaccia.”

More soon, I hope. Keep up the great work!

February 7, 2010


Via Bakhyt Kenjeev, and with much gratitude to the great Russian poet Bakhyt, here’s the site of a very interesting artist from Ufa, Bashkiria, Russia, Rinat Voligamsi: The “Informal Album” section of the site is dedicated to V.I. Lenin and his never-extant twin brother, Sergey Ilyich Ulyanov. Overall, smart and hilarious.

The above piece is listed as “Sergey Ilyich Ulyanov with daughter Natasha at Finnish border crossing. 1925.” Here are a few more samples:

Volodya Ulyanov going to the river to drown cat and kittens. 1880


Sergey Ulyanov in his antique shop. Zurich, 1937


S. Ulyanov and L. Trotzky. Mexico, 1938