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Lame Fate | Ugly Swans
Lame Fate | Ugly Swans ›
By Arkady Strugatsky, By Boris Strugatsky, Translated by Maya Vinokour, Afterword by Boris Strugatsky
Price 18.99

Trade Paper

Published Aug 2020

Never before translated into English, Lame Fate is the first-person account of middle-aged author Felix Sorokin. When the Soviet Writers' Union asks him to submit a writing sample to a newfangled machine that can supposedly evaluate the "objective value" of any literary work, he faces a dilemma. Should he present something establishment-approved but middling, or risk sharing his unpublished masterpiece, which has languished in his desk drawer for years? Sorokin's masterwork is Ugly Swans, previously published in English as a standalone work but presented here in an authoritative new translation. Ugly Swans chronicles the travails of disgraced literary celebrity Victor Banev, who returns to his provincial hometown to find it haunted by the mysterious clammies—black-masked men residing in a former leper colony. Possessing supernatural talents, including the ability to control the weather, the clammies terrify the town's adult population but enthrall its teenagers, including Banev's daughter Irma. Together, Lame Fate and Ugly Swans illuminate some of the Strugatskys' favorite themes—the (im)possibility of political progress, the role of the individual in society, the nature of honor and courage, and the enduring value of art—in consummately entertaining fashion.
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