Snow in May: Stories

Snow in May Stories The stories of Kseniya Melnik s debut collection are small town miracles each a miniature epic Their focus is Magadan a town in the Northern Far East of Russia and the unvisited lives of its inhabi

  • Title: Snow in May: Stories
  • Author: Kseniya Melnik
  • ISBN: 9780007548705
  • Page: 453
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The stories of Kseniya Melnik s debut collection are small town miracles, each a miniature epic.Their focus is Magadan, a town in the Northern Far East of Russia, and the unvisited lives of its inhabitants and emigrants schoolchildren, doctors, teachers, mothers, daughters Some characters span several stories Some of their stories span decades and continents The measuThe stories of Kseniya Melnik s debut collection are small town miracles, each a miniature epic.Their focus is Magadan, a town in the Northern Far East of Russia, and the unvisited lives of its inhabitants and emigrants schoolchildren, doctors, teachers, mothers, daughters Some characters span several stories Some of their stories span decades and continents The measure of their telling, though, is invariably the measure of everyday existence Their dramas, too, are made of quotidian stuff, each life with its own sly or suppressed tragedies, and its brief, often unexpected ecstasies.Kseniya Melnik s sensibility is sober and humorous her stories are moving and funny In their patient, deliberate unfolding at once surprising and convincing and in the fitness of their details vital because they are suggestive we sense, above all, an assurance that is dazzling.

    One thought on “Snow in May: Stories”

    1. ‘Snow In May’ was a special book for me. Those stories of a far east Siberian town resonated with me on many levels. There is a common ground, some shared experience of all those who lived in the Soviet Bloc during communism. It’s quite amazing how the themes and tropes would repeat itself thousands of miles away from Warsaw, somewhere at the end of the world. And yet, the world behind the Iron Curtain was a unique experience, difficult to explain to outsiders but wordlessly recognizable t [...]

    2. Welcome to Magadan, Russia.(Sarah Palin can see this from her house!)Though I had a real problem connecting with the last two stories in the book, most of these tales of life in a cold climate were wonderful. Melnik explores universal topics like marriage, birth, divorce, death, love, hope, hatred and envy, while also touching on aspects of culture that are peculiar to Mother Russia. I thoroughly enjoyed the first story in the collection, Love Italian Style, or In Line for Bananas. Set in 1975, [...]

    3. Snow in May is a beautiful collection of short stories, each one immersed in Russian culture, but each one also a deep look at various intriguing characters.

    4. In brief: A collection of nine linked short stories about family, music, medicine, and the legacy of Stalinist oppression. Most are set in the northeastern Russian town of Magadan, though America often provides a useful counterbalance. Several stories focus on three female generations of one family, and it is a pleasure to spot the threads joining the narratives. Russian music, proverbs, and foodstuffs abound, and you can feel the bleak cold. Meanwhile, the theme of finding happiness by carving [...]

    5. Thank you to Henry Holt and Co. for letting me read this book in digital format."Kseniya Melnik’s beautiful Snow in May is an education in how history is routed, refracted, and reconciled inside the human heart. In sonorous, evocative prose, the triumphs and tragedies of Magadan are vividly brought to life. In 1890, Chekhov traveled to the Russian Far East—had he made the journey a century later, and gone a little farther north, these stories may well have been the result."—Anthony MarraAb [...]

    6. Not so much a collection of short stories as an assemblage of linked events.Each segment is preceded simply by the year in which it takes place. All are about people in or from Magadan, a harsh, cold and bleak city, former site of Stalin's gulags. Each story feels like a glimpse into the past of a relative - indeed, many of them are presented as someone telling of their past experiences. The characters we gain these visions of are all connected; related - although it's not always immediately obv [...]

    7. As the author, I've read this book one too many times, I'd say. I give myself 5 stars for the effort & for all those missed hours of TV watching. I seem to not have embarrassed my family too much with this book. Onward!

    8. There are quite a few stereotypes floating around Russia and its people. Most times, this is a cartoon version of reality and there is more than meets the eye. Kseniya Melnik debuts with a collection of Russian-themed short stories which go beyond these images in, “Snow in May”. “Snow in May” amasses a variety of stories based mostly in the city of Magadan (“closer to Alaska than any other Russian city”). These stories portray various characters, settings, and times during the twenti [...]

    9. Nine short stories linked to remote fishing port of Magadan also the former gateway to Stalin labor camps. Colorful characters, history revealed through fable and lore. Marriage, love, envy, all addressed in an affecting and sweeping manner. Wonderful collection.

    10. A novel of linked, though at times the link is subtle, stories set in the Russian town of Magadan. Magadan is the city that was the gateway for the Gulags, Stalin's notorious inhumane labor camps. The stories weave through the last part of the twentieth century. The settings are vivid and the sense of character is tangible. The tone is very bleak, but the sense of place and time is outstanding.We can follow the characters thought the changing fates of the town and its people. Even those characte [...]

    11. A collection of nine short stories, each linked in some way to Russia's far-eastern port city of Magadan on the Sea of Okhotsk. Magadan is a grey place where winter lasts for many long, dark months and temperatures hover near zero degrees Farenheit. Only one road leads into and out of this isolated land, and for much of the year it is only accessible by air or sea. Magadan is also a haunted place: during the Stalin years it served as the port for the GULAG network of prisons and labor camps and [...]

    12. I’m not always one for short fiction but I was mostly enchanted by the beautiful writing, moving characters, and fascinating almost other-world setting of these linked stories. Magadan is in a frigid far-flung eastern corner of the Soviet Union/Russia, not so far from Alaska, and while it was made notorious by its connection to Stalin’s forced-labor camps afterward it became home to an eclectic mix of artists, professionals, faith healing witches, ex-prisoners, musicians, intellectuals, and [...]

    13. This book touched me so much. Maybe because I grew up in Russia as well. It was achingly beautiful and devastating. My favorite story The Uncatchable Avengers is still with me. I actually listened to a YouTube clip of the march composed by Tchaikovsky to "listen" to the story. Loved it.

    14. Kseniya Melnik’s short story collection, Snow in May is a poignant debut about family, hardships, the arts, and tradition. The stories offer a glimpse into the lives of an interesting mix of characters from varying circumstances all connected with the remote Russian town of Magadan. I’m a bit ignorant when it comes to Russian lit and culture so this is collection was an informative introduction to its people during and after the fall of the USSR. All nine stories are truly works of art, but [...]

    15. I'm not sure how it was that I heard about this book of stories set in Magadan, set in the far, far northeast of Russia, but I was excited to read it because I have a strange fascination with these truly remote but decently big Russian/Soviet cities. So I guess it's not a surprise that my favourite parts of the book were when the city and life there, in whatever time period, was described in detail. I was briefly embarrassed, reading other comments here, that I hadn't realized the stories were l [...]

    16. В мировой литературе существует немало примеров того, как достаточно успешные поэты или писатели, по разным причинам покинув страну, в которой они родились и выросли, добиваются известности и признания их таланта на новой родине. История России, к большому сожалению, особ [...]

    17. Literature is a wonderful vehicle for enlightenment: broadening our minds, expanding our hearts, opening our eyes to cultures, nationalities, world views, ideologies, experiences, belief systems, lands and regions that otherwise would be unknown to us. The more diversified one chooses to read, the more compassionately knowledgeable one chooses to grow. And the more expressively enriched the writing, the richer the enlightenment and growth.Kseniya Melnik took me on an enlightening journey through [...]

    18. I love short stories, especially ones that are linked through geographical location. You feel like you are learning more about the inhabitants and landscape than just random stories. Russia is my favorite area to read about, so naturally I wanted to read this book.However, something about this book seemed soRussia-lite. Don't get me wrong, I am very grateful the book wasn't heartbreaking, or all doom and gloom - it was an easy read. But it seemed there were a lot of generic stereotypes of Russia [...]

    19. A rare glimpse into the lives of people connected to Magdan, one of the Gulag cities in the Far East of Russia. Interlinked stories, interlinked lives, sad, ordinary, and extraordinary and beautifully written about. Highly recommended.

    20. Tell Me More: Distance is a familiar motif to anyone who has left the country of their birth. But whatever distance leaves in shadow, it also brings new perspectives to light. Kseniya Melnik writes of her birthplace, Magadan, with perspective and a fresh new gravity in these nine short stories.It’s hard to write about a place that lives in memories. In Melnik’s hands, Magadan is a vibrant place with unique characteristics and characters. Each piece of the setting seems to complement its resp [...]

    21. The matryoshka doll on the cover is perfect for Kseniya Melnik's Snow in May. Like all short story collections I've had the pleasure to read, the stories are not equally weighted. There are some I love and some I think are only okay. In Snow in May, the best stories are found at the middle, nested between the rest, waiting to be found and bring joy to the one who loosened their casing.The opening stories didn't impress me. The problem, I felt, was that the narrative style was much too summarizin [...]

    22. Snow in May is a series of 9 linked short stories connected to Magadan before and after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In each story, we encounter characters, settings, and themes that reoccur in later stories. The stories move back and forth in time, allowing us to see what changes and what does not in this Far East city and those who are connected to it. While some characters do reoccur, we do not get the same point of view each time, allowing us to see different facets of the characters, r [...]

    23. Kseniya Melnik was born in Magadan and lived there before emigrating to Alaska when she was 15. The fact that she has first-hand knowledge of this isolated town in Russia’s Far East, a town for ever associated with the Gulag, is very evident in this collection of linked short stories, most of which are set there. With compassion and understanding she tells of ordinary people doing their best in often bleak circumstances. With the legacy of the Stalinist era still looming over many of the lives [...]

    24. Reading about the woman standing in line for everything made me feel incredibly worn out and appreciative that I don't have to do the same. Snow in May is about several people living in Magadan, Russia from 1950 to current day. Magadan used to be a transit center for Russian prisoners sent to Stalin prison camps. I don't know a lot about the GULAG times but prisons were certainly not a comfy place. You can imagine how that mixture of people made Magadan into what it was. People expecting a happy [...]

    25. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This book takes the reader back and forth in time in Soviet Russia. At times, it can feel almost stereotypical in all the notes it hits. There are breadlines, poverty, the smell of cabbage, ballarinas. The author even describes something as "cucumber green, omelet yellow, and beet purple." Yes, those are all foods that Russians eat. This might have worked better as a novel instead of a bunch of loosely linked short st [...]

    26. Kseniya Melnik’s outstanding debut, Snow in May, visits Magadan, an isolated town in northern Russia serving as the gate to the most brutal Stalinist labor camps.Nine linked stories with a varying cast touching upon topics as marriage, family, hope. History presented and evolved through many challenges the eclectic cast faced.Melnik takes daily struggles peppered with humor, sensitivity and empathy as each vignette unfolds. She masterfully takes the reader by the hand waking you through the em [...]

    27. I received this as a First Read book. I enjoyed the descriptive highlights of Magadan. Melnik brings the reader to her hometown through her prose while offering a touch of what life was like for the average person during the changing eras. My favorite was the coming of age story, Strawberry Lipstick. Oyla dreams of being married so she can wear lipstick just as girls in every country wish to grow up enough to wear makeup, or their grandmother's ring or to move away from home. Snow in May is a c [...]

    28. Given the reviews and accolades this book has gotten, I expected something different. However, it made me impatient. Lots of telling rather than showing and episodes that are absent of significant insight, which doesn't make up for their banal nature. The idea that the character of the first story would feel a thrill at the possibility of being a spy in 1975 seems unrealistic--we naively romanticize spies today due to popular media, but it it is unlikely that a woman living in the USSR would hav [...]

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