A new mass-market edition of the acclaimed stories of violence, crime and sex
’One of those “where have you been all my life?” books’
Nick Lezard, Guardian
In the city of Odessa, the lawless streets hide darker stories of their own. From the magnetic cruelty of mob boss Benya Krik to the devastating account of a young Jewish boy caught up in a pogrom, Odessa Stories uncovers the tales of gangsters, prostitutes, beggars and smugglers: no one can escape the pungent, sinewy force of Isaac Babel’s pen.
Translated with precision and sensitivity by Boris Dralyuk, whose rendering of the rich Odessan slang is pitch-perfect, this acclaimed new translation of Odessa Stories contains the grittiest of Babel’s tales, considered by many to be some of the greatest masterpieces of twentieth-century Russian literature.
Isaac Babel was a short-story writer, playwright, literary translator and journalist. He joined the Red Army as a correspondent during the Russian civil war. The first major Russian-Jewish writer to write in Russian, he was hugely popular during his lifetime. He was murdered in Stalin's purges in 1940, at the age of 45.