Isaac Babel was a journalist, playwright, and short story writer, whose works include the Russian masterpieces Red Cavalry and The Odessa Tales. He was arrested and executed in a Soviet prison in 1940. Nathalie Babel, his daughter, edited two other books of Babel's writing and is the author of Hugo and Dostoevsky. Peter Constantine is the director of the Program in Literary Translation at the University of Connecticut, the publisher of World Poetry Books, and editor-in-chief of the magazine New Poetry in Translation. A prolific translator from several modern and classical languages, Constantine was awarded the PEN Translation Prize for Six Early Stories by Thomas Mann, the National Translation Award for The Undiscovered Chekhov, the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize for his translation of The Bird Is a Raven by Benjamin Lebert, and the Koret Jewish Book Award and a National Jewish Book Award citation for The Complete Works of Isaac Babel. Michael Dirda, who won a Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism at the Washington Post Book World, is the author of An Open Book, Bound to Please, and Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
"My favorite writer of fiction is Isaac Babel, primarily for one
book, Red Cavalry. I find [it] endlessly haunting for its blunt yet
somehow elusive style…it invariably leaves me feeling off balance
and on edge. And I can't stop rereading it."
*Richard Price - New York Times Book Review*
"Marvelously subtle, tragic, and often comic commentaries on the desecration of revolutionary activity."
*James Wood - The New Republic*
"From the very first story, Red Cavalry opens like a cannon shot. In glorious, expressionist description, a cavalry division has forded the Zbrucz River at night…Amid beauty, amid courage and even warmth that are often overwhelming, there are butchery and murder, acts that can never be forgiven, only forgotten, and Babel does not let you forget."
*James Salter - Los Angeles Times Book Review*
"If you want to read spectacularly graceful distillations of spectacularly intense, complex, ephemeral experience, you could hardly do better than stories in Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry."
*Deborah Eisenberg - Lithub.com*