Oct 22, 2020 • 21M

Episode #2 Preview: All the Sad Soviet Immigrant Lit

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Appears in this episode

Yasha Levine
A podcast by Evgenia Kovda and Yasha Levine.

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.

This is a preview of a full podcast episode that is only available to subscribers. To get listen to the rest, sign up here. Perks include your own podcast RSS feed.

—Yasha Levine and Evgenia Kovda

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. And…subscribe!

Intro song: American Boy by Комбинация.