Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Vladimir's Mustache

An introduction to Vladimir's Mustache, a short story collection by Stephan Eirik Clark that is set against the backdrop of Russian history from the time of Peter the Great through the purges of Stalin and on into the mail-order bride agencies of the present day. With stories published in such magazines as Witness, Ninth Letter, Salt Hill, and the Cincinnati Review, this collection is available now through Amazon and other book sellers.



by Stephan Eirik Clark

Youtube link

For more information, visit the website of the author at http://www.stephanclark.net or the publisher at http://www.russianlife.com/store/index.cfm/product/215_30/vladimirs-mustache.cfm

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Monday, January 25, 2010

New Blog


I kept this blog to document the year I lived in Kharkov, Ukraine as a Fulbright Fellow. It concerned itself with the so-called mail-order bride trade, the struggles facing couples brought together through it, as well as a variety of things slavic, soviet or post-soviet.

Because this site isn't representative of the full range of my writing, I've created a new website, more general in nature. Find it at www.stephanclark.net or just click here.

For those who enjoyed this blog, thanks for reading. And keep in touch.

Finally, special thanks to  Snowy for all the work he put into the redesign.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Emperor of Scent by Chandler Burr

One percent of our genes is devoted to the sense of smell (only the immune system rivals this) and yet still we can't say how the nose works. When we talk of the nose, we might as well be talking of the soul.

These thoughts and more are explored in this wonderful book, The Emperor of Scent, by Chandler Burr, which I find myself returning to again and again. It explores the perfume trade in France and a man with an unorthodox view of the sense of smell. Highly recommended:

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Great Book

The Emperor of Scent: A True Story of Perfume and Obsession

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Notes From an Underground (a recording)

In Ukraine, all of the smaller, corner stores work much like markets did in the United States fifty or one-hundred years ago. You'll go in and see that all of the goods are on shelves or in cold cases only employees can reach or access. Consequently, if you want some cheese, you'll have to go up to the dairy counter and speak with a blue-aproned продавщица (prodavschitsa/saleswoman) who will call out, Я слушаю! (ya slushayu!/I'm listening!) and take your order. If you want some meat, or some dry goods, you'll have to repeat the process, seeing two more Blue Aprons.

There is certainly a benefit to this system: a drastic reduction in theft. But the problem is, if you don't speak Russian, or if you speak a little Russian but are too shy to test it in public, you will likely starve, especially if you haven't yet discovered one of the western-style supermarkets, of which there were several in Kharkov.

Anyway, all of this is a long introduction to the fact that I wrote an essay about my experiences trying to scrape together a few good meals in Ukraine during my first couple of weeks in-country back in the fall of 2005. A while back I pointed you to the journal that published it, NOÖ Journal, which subsequently nominated the essay for inclusion in the Best of the Web 2009 anthology.

Now I'm writing to say you can find an audio recording of the essay below. Fourteen minutes long, it should prepare any traveler for a trip to the Former Soviet Union. Tell me what you think. And Приятного аппетита!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Manure

Just discovered this website that allows you to view magazines online -- and I found the second story I published had already been uploaded by Dave Housley, one of the editors of Barrelhouse. My story, "Manure," about my trouble with credit cards, begins on page 19.

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Great blog


If, like me, you're learning -- or, more honestly, trying to learn -- to speak Russian, you'd be well-served by visiting this blog, which is written by a Swedish literature student living in Russia. I love the word of the week feature, as well as the type of travel reportage that I enjoyed posting here. The title of the blog, Russian Blog, sounds like the result of a brainstorming session that lasted all of five seconds. But each post is obviously the work of a good deal of effort. I'm certainly reading and hoping for more.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Greatest Gift.

This should be of interest to many readers of this blog: a memoir of survival and Siberia. Get an introduction to the book here:

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