Oct 22, 2020 • 2HR 15M

Episode #2: All the Sad Soviet Immigrant Lit

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Appears in this episode

Yasha Levine
Evgenia Kovda
A podcast by Evgenia Kovda and Yasha Levine.
Episode details

We’re about three months late but Evgenia and I finally did it: we recorded episode #2 of our Immigrants as a Weapon podcast. This one’s important — a topic we talk and complain about a lot in our household: the utterly sad and pathetic state of Soviet immigrant literature that’s being produced today.

Pretty much every generation of Soviet and Russian immigrants — going back to the Russian Revolution and all the way through the dissident and Jewish immigration waves of the 1970s and 1980s — had produced at least some worthwhile literature and at least a few notable writers. But that’s not true of the generation of Soviet immigrants working today.

We discuss the most celebrated and well-known of these authors, including people like Gary Shteyngart, Peter Pomerantsev, and the Gessen clan — Masha and Keith. And we try to figure out why today’s Soviet immigrant lit is so bland and forgettable.

—Yasha and Evgenia

PS: Listen to our first episode — “Russians Against Politics” — where we talk about the neoliberalism that pervades the post-Soviet world and Russians’ rabid response to Black Lives Matter.

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Intro song: American Boy by Комбинация.

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