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Antonina W. Bouis
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"Alphabet of Masks"is a collection of short stories and poems written on a mobile phone. It is an imaginative foray into the modern-day Russian experience. Dmitri Birman shows us how today's Russians straddle their Soviet past and their capitalist future in order to survive.
The stories are wry, humorous, and sexually frank; the poems lyrical and elegiac about the narrator and his friends. The anti-Semitic reality of school bullies and army conscription, the adolescent yearning for classmates and teaching assistants, the Soviet dream of world travel and luxury consumption--all are part of the book, while the poetry resonates as variations on a theme.
Dmitri Birman became a new Russian businessman after Communism fell. A prize-winning poet, he is a member of the Russian PEN.
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