Alphabet favorites are back! Though my entry for the Letter R (Р) is a bit limited in terms of all-out favorites, there are enough writers I like—with the hope for turns to the even-more-positive—that I’m not going to skip R like I skipped N and O.
My one true favorite for R is Anatolii Rybakov, despite my somewhat limited experience reading him: Rybakov’s Дети Арбата (Children of the Arbat), the first volume of a trilogy, is enough. I read the trilogy before I started writing the blog but I did keep a book diary then, where I praised the first volume most, called the second “awful,” and summed up with, “The books were definitely flawed but they did manage to capture something important: the mood and stories of a lost portion of a generation.” Rybakov’s Тяжёлый песок (Heavy Sand) (previous post) left me with mixed feelings a few years ago, too, but I suspect I’d probably appreciate its characters and storytelling techniques far more now, after reading so much more fiction (much of it by Margarita Khemlin, who’s also from Chernigov) set in Ukraine. I also have a sentimental reason for favoriting Rybakov: he made a reading in my department when I was in grad school. I think this was in 1986, though I remember almost nothing except that Rybakov made a positive impression.