The Suitcase

The Suitcase Cover

The Suitcase

By Sergei Dovlatov; Antonina W. Bouis (Translator)

Counterpoint LLC, Paperback, 9781582437330, 136pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2011

Sergei Dovlatov's subtle, dark-edged humor and wry observations are in full force in "The Suitcase" as he examines eight objects the items he brought with him in his luggage upon his emigration from the U.S.S.R. These seemingly undistinguished possessions, stuffed into a worn-out suitcase, take on a riotously funny life of their own as Dovlatov inventories the circumstances under which he acquired them, occasioning a brilliant series of interconnected tales: A poplin shirt evokes the bittersweet story of a courtship and marriage, while a pair of boots (of the kind only the Nomenklatura can afford) calls up the hilarious conclusion to an official banquet. Some driving gloves remnants of Dovlatov's short-lived acting career share space with neon-green crepe socks, reminders of a failed black-market scam. And in curious juxtaposition, the belt from a prison guard's uniform lies next to a stained jacket that once belonged to Fernand Leger.
Imbued with a comic nostalgia overlaid with Dovlatov's characteristically dry wit, "The Suitcase" is an intensely human, delightfully ironic novel from the finest Soviet satirist to appear in English since Vladimir Voinovich.

About the Author

Solomon Volkov is the award-winning author of several notable books about Russian culture, including "St. Petersburg: A Cultural History" and "Shostakovich and Stalin," published worldwide. After moving to the United States from the Soviet Union, he became a cultural commentator for Voice of America and later for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, broadcasting to the USSR (and later, Russia), where he discussed contemporary artistic developments in his former homeland. He lives in New York City with his wife, Marianna.
The prizewinning translator Antonina W. Bouis is known for her work with contemporary Russian literature.

Praise For The Suitcase

Praise for The Suitcase

"Dovlatov's writing is simple but witty, with a hint of nostalgia . . . His tales open a small window on to daily life in the former Soviet Union." The Observer