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You should check out the 'Branching Out' thread. Not all of the books are contemporary, but there are some nice recommendations there.
I had a look at your library and noticed that you have Platonov's Soul. Its been on my 'vaguely-intending-to-read-list' for a while now. Would you recommend that I bump it up to my 'almost-certainly-going-to-read-list' or even (gulp) my 'definitely-going-to read-very-soon-list'?
I've just had a look at your library too (puts my own to shame - I must work on it over the next few days) and, as we seem to have quite a few books in common, yes, I would recommend Soul. I loved it. If you do read it, let me know what you think. My library has a collected works of sorts which I intend to reserve shortly.
On matters Russian, I got Moscow Stations by Venedikt Yerofeev and Don't Die Before You're Dead by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Ever read the Yevtushenko?
I realise that recommending is much quicker than reading, so I'll stop soon, but I would also like to point you in the direction of Hamid Ismailov's The Railway. He is not Russian, but Uzbek, and The Railway is a tragicomic history of a soviet century in Uzbekistan. It contrasts with the soviet stuff from Russia because the fear of the state is much more remote, which makes periods like the Stalinist era look more absurd than frightening. Its good stuff anyway.
If you are interested in Central Asian literature, I would recommend (The Day Lasts a Hundred Years) by ((Chingiz Aitmatov)). From what you are saying about the Railway, they seem to be coming from a similar angle.
I have also seen The Burn mentioned a few times, so that's another one on my reading list.
Andrey Kurkov is worth checking out in my opinion.
Boris Akunin is another novelist who is getting good reviews. I have read The Winter Queen but I can't say that I really liked it. He could be worth checking out too though.
I also read The Winter Queen and liked it but didn't continue on with the series. We also have Night Watch by Lukhanenko, but having seen the movie first, I wonder if I'll pick that up now...
Cheers for that. I have bought the Aitmatov and Platonov you talked about, but they have gone on a very large pile of non-Russian reading (is it okay to admit to reading other stuff in front of this group?). Yevtushenko will have to wait until after Christmas. I'll eventually let you know what I think of them all.
it's cool you mention just that; I've bought that book recently and I've been meaning to read it (the only problem is that I've left it in Budapest while right now I'm in Vienna - the disadvantages of having your physical library in 3 different locations, sigh!).
An other female author I like is Ludmila Ulitskaya - I think my favorite work of hers is The Funeral Party.
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