Red Pyramid: Selected Stories (Paperback)

Red Pyramid: Selected Stories By Vladimir Sorokin, Max Lawton (Translated by), Will Self (Introduction by) Cover Image

Red Pyramid: Selected Stories (Paperback)

By Vladimir Sorokin, Max Lawton (Translated by), Will Self (Introduction by)


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Extended comic turns like The Queue and relentless, mind-bending, genre-shredding extravaganzas like Ice Trilogy have established Vladimir Sorokin as a master of the contemporary novel. It is to Sorokin’s short fiction, however, that readers must turn to encounter the wildest and most unsettling of his inventions and provocations. Sorokin is a virtuoso of parody and pastiche, as well as  a poet of the black sites where the human soul stands exposed to its own incontinent desires, and Red Pyramid spans the whole of his career, from his emergence in  the Soviet Union as a member of Moscow’s artistic underground to his late preeminence as an observer and interpreter of the Putin era, with its squalid parade of gruesome folly and unhinged violence. Included here  are queasy tour-de-forces, like the early “Obelisk,” a story as scatological as it is conceptual; the notorious “A Month in Dachau,” which earned Sorokin his sobriquet as the Russian Sade; and profoundly unsettling texts like “Tiny Tim,” where tenderness is inseparable from horror.

Sorokin’s stories have appeared in The New Yorker, n+1, Harper’s Magazine, and The Baffler. This is the first time they have been collected in English.
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 émigré dissident Andrei Sinyavsky in France in 1985. In 1992, Sorokin’s Their Four Hearts was short-listed for the Russian Booker Prize; in 1999, the publication of Blue Lard led to public demonstrations against the book and demands that Sorokin be prosecuted as a pornographer; in 2001, he received the Andrei Bely Award for outstanding contributions to Russian literature. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. Sorokin is also the author of the screenplays for Moscow, The Kopeck, and 4, and of the libretto for Leonid Desyatnikov’s The Children of Rosenthal, the first new opera to be commissioned by the Bolshoi Theater since the 1970s. His most recent novel is Inheritance. He lives in Berlin.

Max Lawton is a novelist, musician, and translator. He has translated several works by Vladimir Sorokin, including the NYRB Classics edition of Telluria. He lives in Los Angeles.

Will Self is a journalist, columnist, and author of more than two dozen books of fiction and nonfiction, including eleven novels. His most recent book is the collection Why Read: Selected Writings 2001-2021. He lives in the UK.
Product Details ISBN: 9781681378206
ISBN-10: 1681378205
Publisher: NYRB Classics
Publication Date: February 27th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English
"If reality is said to be stranger than fiction, Sorokin’s fiction goes further, to make the point that the pornographic, as he writes it, is a way of bearing witness to the past and present...These stories are not for the faint-hearted. Reading them is like waking violently from a deep sleep—and the shock continues to haunt one." —Tomoé Hill, The Spectator

"The Sorokin renaissance continues after Telluria with a vital selection of the Russian enfant terrible’s best shorts....As astute as they are provocative, these stories are an ideal introduction to the prolific and fearless Sorokin." —Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“Extravagant, remarkable, politically and socially devastating, the tone and style without precedent, the parables merciless, the nightmares beyond outrance, the violence unparalleled, these stories, translated with fearless agility by Max Lawton, showcase the great novelist Vladimir Sorokin at his divinely disturbing best.” —Joy Williams