Catherine Brown

The Russian Saki

Subtly Worded


Pushkin Press 301pp £12 order from our bookshop

Of all the consequences of the end of the USSR, the rediscovery of Teffi (Nadezhda Alexandrovna Buchinskaya, née Lokhvitskaya) is unequivocally a good one. Subtly Worded is the first volume of her short stories to be published in Britain; may others swiftly follow. She is the female counterpart to Chekhov and late Tolstoy, and the Russian counterpart to Katherine Mansfield and Saki. Yet her work also displays its own distinctive combination of confidence, vulnerability, joy and compassion.

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