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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.
Compact, irreverent, enigmatic, savage and tender... it is impossible to look at the world the same way after reading Babel... one of the enduring jewels of 20th-century Russian literature -- Rebecca Abrams Financial Times Unforgettable stories, lyrical and earthy -- Eileen Battersby Irish Times (Books of the Year) Vertiginous shifts in register... stylistic precision... Red Cavalry dazzles TLS Think of M*A*S*H transported to the so-called Russian empire of 100 years ago... brilliant RTE Some of the finest Russian fiction of the 20th century Book World Marvelously subtle, tragic, and often comic -- James Wood The New Republic Amazing not only as literature but as biography... Aside from being a great writer, Babel stands as an emblem of the tragedy of 20th century totalitarianism... literary genius framed by 20th-century tragedy -- Richard Bernstein New York Times Boris Dralyuk brings to vivid life Babel's wry, unflinching account of his time as a correspondent in the Red Army during Russia's civil war -- Catherine Taylor Pen Atlas [A] classic collection... Casual violence alternates with beauty Publishers Weekly Endlessly haunting... a masterpiece of negative space... I can't stop rereading it Richard Price, author of 'Clockers The pure light of Babel's style shines through with this excellent translation by Boris Dralyuk - a prose rendered poetically, worthy of a Yeats or a Whitman or a Gogol Review of Arts, Literature, Philosophy and the Humanities One of the great stylistic accomplishments of the 20th century... simply the best translation available Wall Street Journal Babel's narrative concision and his ability to shift registers, from the prosaic to the poetic and back, are riveting...in the crucible of war, Babel forged a new prose equal to the new energies and forms of life opened up by the revolution Publishers Weekly Red Cavalry is an indictment of the banality of armed conflict through the voices of commissars and idealists, revolutionaries and soldiers alike. It should be required reading in every high school, in every nation where people still think wars are worth fighting. Russian Life Magazine Isaac Babel's Red Cavalry, now granted an afterlife in Boris Dralyuk's lyrical and fluid translation... First Things Fine writing East-West Review [Isaac Babel's stories] opened a door in my mind, and behind that door I found the room where I wanted to spend the rest of my life Paul Auster