Fandango and Other Stories
by Alexander Grin. Translated by Bryan Karetnyk
Pub Date 07 Jan 2020
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In a bucolic idyll, a terrorist agonizes over the act of violence he is about to commit. On a remote island in the South Pacific, the investigation of a case of mass suicide reveals further mysteries. In a far-flung colony, a cynical trio sends an unwitting man into the wilderness in search of a chimera. Mixing romance and high adventure, intrigue and the fantastic, these magnificent tales by one of Russia’s most enduringly popular writers deftly probe the depths of human nature and desire.
Fandango and Other Stories presents a selection of essential short fiction by Alexander Grin, Russia’s counterpart to Robert Louis Stevenson, Edgar Allan Poe, and Alexandre Dumas. By turns a sailor, a dockworker, a vagrant, a gold prospector, a lumberjack, a soldier, a deserter, an agitator, an exile, a prisoner, and a runaway, Grin wrote seven novels and over three hundred short stories that transport the reader to a realm of pure art and imagination. His ingenious plots explore conflicts of the individual and society in a romantic world populated by a cast of eccentric, cosmopolitan characters. Fandango and Other Stories presents works drawn from across the entirety of Grin’s varied career to encompass the range and sophistication of his writing. Bryan Karetnyk’s elegant translations bring Grin’s distinctive voice to a new generation of readers.
Alexander Grin, the nom de plume of Alexander Stepanovich Grinevsky (1880–1932), was a leading Russian writer of fantasy and adventure, most famous for the novel Scarlet Sails. His neoromantic fiction won him enduring popularity but eventually ran afoul of the Soviet authorities. Impoverished and increasingly denied the ability to publish, he died of stomach cancer at the age of fifty-one.
Bryan Karetnyk is a Wolfson Scholar in the Humanities at University College London. He has translated several major works by Gaito Gazdanov and is the editor and principal translator of the anthology Russian Émigré Short Stories from Bunin to Yanovsky (2017).
"Bryan Karetnyk’s sparkling translations bring out both the stylistic intricacy and the psychological depth of Alexander Grin’s tales, calling to mind the 'delicate, graceful lacework of fretted leaves' described in 'Lanphier Colony.' This expertly edited collection introduces, at long last, the full range of Grin’s gifts to the English-speaking world."
—Boris Dralyuk, executive editor, Los Angeles Review of Books