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Red Pyramid

Red Pyramid

Selected Stories

by Vladimir Sorokin, introduction by Will Self, translated from the Russian by Max Lawton

Regular price $18.95
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Extended comic turns like The Queue and relentless, mind-bending, genre-shredding extravaganzas like Ice Trilogy have established Vladimir Sorokin as a master of the contemporary novel. It is to Sorokin’s short fiction, however, that readers must turn to encounter the wildest and most unsettling of his inventions and provocations. Sorokin is a virtuoso of parody and pastiche, as well as  a poet of the black sites where the human soul stands exposed to its own incontinent desires, and Red Pyramid spans the whole of his career, from his emergence in  the Soviet Union as a member of Moscow’s artistic underground to his late preeminence as an observer and interpreter of the Putin era, with its squalid parade of gruesome folly and unhinged violence. Included here  are queasy tour-de-forces, like the early “Obelisk,” a story as scatological as it is conceptual; the notorious “A Month in Dachau,” which earned Sorokin his sobriquet as the Russian Sade; and profoundly unsettling texts like “Tiny Tim,” where tenderness is inseparable from horror.

Sorokin’s stories have appeared in The New Yorkern+1Harper’s Magazine, and The Baffler. This is the first time they have been collected in English.

Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9781681378206
Pages: 320
Publication Date:


Forbiddingly postmodern, Sorokin’s texts are a jolting literary and rhetorical head-trip. They test the limits of linguistic boundaries, political satire and scatological humour.....While Blue Lard might be more famous and more linguistically complex, in some ways these stories feel more haunting and memorable, almost Chekhovian....The stories feature many of Sorokin’s beloved shock-value themes (cannibalism, violence, sex and excrement); to describe them in detail would do a disservice to first-time readers. Suffice to say that they are likely to remain seared in any reader’s memory eternally.
—Courtney Weaver, Financial Times

If reality is said to be stranger than fiction, Sorokin’s fiction goes further, to make the point that the pornographic, as he writes it, is a way of bearing witness to the past and present...These stories are not for the faint-hearted. Reading them is like waking violently from a deep sleep—and the shock continues to haunt one.
—Tomoé Hill, The Spectator

The Sorokin renaissance continues after Telluria with a vital selection of the Russian enfant terrible’s best shorts....As astute as they are provocative, these stories are an ideal introduction to the prolific and fearless Sorokin.
Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Extravagant, remarkable, politically and socially devastating, the tone and style without precedent, the parables merciless, the nightmares beyond outrance, the violence unparalleled, these stories, translated with fearless agility by Max Lawton, showcase the great novelist Vladimir Sorokin at his divinely disturbing best.
—Joy Williams

In Red Pyramid, the title story, a Soviet-era student named Yura meets a seemingly omniscient man on a rural train platform. There are clear echoes of the cat in Mikhail Bulgakov’s Master and Margarita (1967).
—Michael Scott Moore, Los Angeles Review of Books

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