Maria Galina’s Медведки (Mole Crickets) is not, alas, a novel
about entomology, though there are superficial metaphorical similarities
between the nocturnal, burrowing mole cricket and the novel’s narrator, a man who calls himself an editor and lives alone in a rented dacha somewhere in the vicinity of the Black Sea. Galina incorporates plenty of humor as she patches together slivers
of various genres—particularly fantasy and picaresque—to examine identity and
family, storytelling and mythmaking, truth and invention.
|Richard Lydekker's life history of the mole cricket from |
The Royal Natural History, 1879. (via Wikipedia)
- Mole Crickets is a finalist for the 2012 Big Book award.
- Mole Crickets was named book of the year (written by a Russian author) on the site Fantlab.
- Медведки is available online on Журнальный зал (beginning) (end) and Bookmate (here).
- Amanda Love Darragh won the Rossica Prize for her translation of Galina’s Гиви и Шендерович, known in English as Iramifications and available from Glas.
Up Next: Dmitrii Danilov’s Чёрный и зелёный (Black and Green), a novella about a tea salesman that overshadowed Mole Crickets because I loved it so much. Then short stories galore and Dmitrii Lipskerov’s 40 лет Чанчжоэ (The Forty Years of Chanchzhoeh), which I was surprised to find on my local Russian grocery store’s tiny shelf of used books along with Viktor Pelevin’s Чапаев и пустотa, known in English as Buddha’s Little Finger. A nice consolation purchase since they’d sold out of my beloved halva in chocolate.