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The Billancourt Tales (New Directions Paperbook) Paperback – 24 Jul 2009


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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A highly enjoyable and recommended literary classic 9 April 2002
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Billancourt Tales is an amazing anthology of thirteen stories by the skilled and talented Russian writer Nina Berberova (1901-1993) who left Russia in 1922, lived in Germany, Czechoslovakia, Italy, and then finally settled in Paris in 1925. Ably translated into English for the first time by Marian Schwartz, these stories are set in the Paris suburb of Billancourt and take place from 1928 to 1940, featuring a variety of Russian immigrants seeking to adjust to a strange new land and a new set of customs. Billancourt Tales is an appealing, highly enjoyable and recommended literary classic that withstands the test of time and the boundaries of language.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Life on the outside looking in 1 Oct. 2010
By S. Smith-Peter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These interconnected tales about the lives of emigre Russians in the Parisian industrial suburb of Billancourt are well worth reading, although not Berberova's best work. I would recommend reading the Book of Happiness and Cape of Storms before this, and then this book, where the reader can see Berberova coming into her own over the course of the stories. While it begins in the style of Zoshchenko and the Soviet style short story, by the end Berberova has come into her own voice as a woman, an emigre, and a resident of Paris. One of the things I particularly liked about the book was the sense of life being elsewhere - that somehow people in Paris were living more authentic lives and that the rain there was more real than the rain in Billancourt. That sense of being a bit player in your own life is most likely a key part of emigre experience, and here it is given an eloquent voice.
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