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Dovlatov’s Days in NY: "A Life is Too Short…"

The cultural center at the Shorefront YM-YWHA and Brooklyn Philharmonic will join the celebration of iconic Soviet émigré writer Sergei Dovlatov’s 70-year anniversary by co-producing a special event titled “A Life is Too Short.” This will be an evening of literature, music, and documentary images dedicated to Sergei Dovlatov. The program will weave together readings of Dovlatov’s prose, personal recollections from his widow, fellow writers and journalists, and music by D. Shostakovich and S. Prokofiev. The evening will also include a visual arts presentation and photo exhibit. This program will be conducted In Russian.
This evening is a co-production of the Shorefront Y’s Artistic Director Irina Volkovich and the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s Artistic Director, Alan Pierson. Script by Irina Volkovich.

The Participants:

  • Actors of Dialogue Theater: R. Galitch, I. Yesilevskaya, S. Pobedinsky
  • Chamber Orchestra of Brooklyn Philharmonic
  • Elena Dovlatova; Nina Alovert; Solomon Volkov; Natasha Sharimova

About Sergei Dovlatov:

Dovlatov was born on September 3, 1941 in Ufa. His mother was an Armenian and his father was half-Jewish. After 1945, he lived with his mother in Leningrad.

Dovlatov wrote prose fiction, but his numerous attempts to get published in the Soviet Union were in vain. Unable to publish in the Soviet Union, Dovlatov circulated his writings through samizdat and by having them smuggled into Western Europe for publication in foreign journals. The set of his first book was destroyed under the order of the KGB.

In 1976, some stories by Dovlatov had been published in Western Russian-language magazines, including Continent, Time and Us. In 1979 Dovlatov emigrated from the Soviet Union with his mother, Nora, and came to live with his wife and daughter in New York, where he later co-edited The New American, a liberal, Russian-language émigré newspaper. In the mid 80s, Dovlatov finally achieved recognition as a writer, being printed in the prestigious magazine The New Yorker. Dovlatov died on August 24, 1990 in New York and was buried at the Mount Hebron Cemetery.

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