On January 17, 2012 a new English edition of Sergei Dovlatov’s “The Zone: A Prison Camp Guard’s Story”, translated by Anne Frydman hits the shelves. Previous 1985 edition is long out of print.

One thing I’d like to mention: though a clever design idea, potato on the cover is not the right kind. Even potato sold in stores in USSR never looked this good, not to mention the frozen and rotten prison kitchen variety. This is a farmer-market quality potato. Potato or potaato, you might say, what difference does it make? My point is: we are lucky we can read Dovlatov in Russian. Genius is in the details, and important nuances get lost in translation.

Another Dovlatov’s collection of short stories “The Suitcase” translated by Antonina W. Bouis was published in April of 2011. It was originally published in 1990. Writer’s daughter Katherine Dovlatov edited translation for new editions of both books.

UK edition of “The Suitcase” was picked by The Guardian as one of the best short story collections in 2011.

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