A crisp, conversational translation that makes Chekhov’s words sing.

THE SEAGULL

An actor and director delivers a fresh translation of Chekhov’s classic play.

A comedy with its share of tragic elements, Chekhov’s famous drama has been a staple at theaters around the world for over a century. Here, debut translator Korenev presents a new version for English readers meant to capture the poetry and wit of the original. The play follows a group of artists (and would-be artists) and lovers (and would-be lovers) at a Russian country estate. The actress Irina Nikolayevna Arkadina is there with her lover, the famous writer Boris Alexeyevich Trigorin. Irina’s adult son, Konstantin Gavrilovich Treplev, is an aspiring playwright who stages an experimental (if poorly received) work for everyone’s enjoyment. The play stars local girl Nina Zarechnaya, who dreams of one day becoming a famous actress. Konstantin loves Nina; she is infatuated with Trigorin; and a number of other characters pine after one another in myriad combinations. Drama ensues, as it is wont to do. Before long, there are attempted suicides, contemplated duels, and the very strange gift of a dead seagull. Korenev, who was to play Trigorin in a Covid-19–delayed New York production that he was set to direct, translated the drama himself, in part as a way to get into the head of his writerly role. He succeeds in capturing Chekhov’s concise elegance in fresh, accessible English, as here where Trigorin offers Nina his famous musing on the dead seagull: “An idea for the plot of a short story: a young woman, like you, has lived by a lake since she was a child; loves the lake like a seagull, and is happy and free like the seagull. But by chance a man came along, saw her, and, because he had nothing to do, he destroyed her, like that seagull.” Readers will be struck by how contemporary the dialogue sounds, even given its remote setting. This clarity helps make Chekhov’s insight and humor shine all the brighter. Whether readers are familiar with the play or coming to it for the first time, Korenev’s clean and balanced rendering provides a wonderful experience. One hopes he is able to take it to the stage soon.

A crisp, conversational translation that makes Chekhov’s words sing.

Pub Date: April 22, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-953608-00-0

Page Count: 158

Publisher: Anton Korenev Entertainment

Review Posted Online: Jan. 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

FAIRY TALE

Narnia on the Penobscot: a grand, and naturally strange, entertainment from the ever prolific King.

What’s a person to do when sheltering from Covid? In King’s case, write something to entertain himself while reflecting on what was going on in the world outside—ravaged cities, contentious politics, uncertainty. King’s yarn begins in a world that’s recognizably ours, and with a familiar trope: A young woman, out to buy fried chicken, is mashed by a runaway plumber’s van, sending her husband into an alcoholic tailspin and her son into a preadolescent funk, driven “bugfuck” by a father who “was always trying to apologize.” The son makes good by rescuing an elderly neighbor who’s fallen off a ladder, though he protests that the man’s equally elderly German shepherd, Radar, was the true hero. Whatever the case, Mr. Bowditch has an improbable trove of gold in his Bates Motel of a home, and its origin seems to lie in a shed behind the house, one that Mr. Bowditch warns the boy away from: “ ‘Don’t go in there,’ he said. ‘You may in time, but for now don’t even think of it.’ ” It’s not Pennywise who awaits in the underworld behind the shed door, but there’s plenty that’s weird and unexpected, including a woman, Dora, whose “skin was slate gray and her face was cruelly deformed,” and a whole bunch of people—well, sort of people, anyway—who’d like nothing better than to bring their special brand of evil up to our world’s surface. King’s young protagonist, Charlie Reade, is resourceful beyond his years, but it helps that the old dog gains some of its youthful vigor in the depths below. King delivers a more or less traditional fable that includes a knowing nod: “I think I know what you want,” Charlie tells the reader, "and now you have it”—namely, a happy ending but with a suitably sardonic wink.

A tale that’s at once familiar and full of odd and unexpected twists—vintage King, in other words.

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-66800-217-9

Page Count: 608

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

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REMINDERS OF HIM

After being released from prison, a young woman tries to reconnect with her 5-year-old daughter despite having killed the girl’s father.

Kenna didn’t even know she was pregnant until after she was sent to prison for murdering her boyfriend, Scotty. When her baby girl, Diem, was born, she was forced to give custody to Scotty’s parents. Now that she’s been released, Kenna is intent on getting to know her daughter, but Scotty’s parents won’t give her a chance to tell them what really happened the night their son died. Instead, they file a restraining order preventing Kenna from so much as introducing herself to Diem. Handsome, self-assured Ledger, who was Scotty’s best friend, is another key adult in Diem’s life. He’s helping her grandparents raise her, and he too blames Kenna for Scotty’s death. Even so, there’s something about her that haunts him. Kenna feels the pull, too, and seems to be seeking Ledger out despite his judgmental behavior. As Ledger gets to know Kenna and acknowledges his attraction to her, he begins to wonder if maybe he and Scotty’s parents have judged her unfairly. Even so, Ledger is afraid that if he surrenders to his feelings, Scotty’s parents will kick him out of Diem’s life. As Kenna and Ledger continue to mourn for Scotty, they also grieve the future they cannot have with each other. Told alternatively from Kenna’s and Ledger’s perspectives, the story explores the myriad ways in which snap judgments based on partial information can derail people’s lives. Built on a foundation of death and grief, this story has an undercurrent of sadness. As usual, however, the author has created compelling characters who are magnetic and sympathetic enough to pull readers in. In addition to grief, the novel also deftly explores complex issues such as guilt, self-doubt, redemption, and forgiveness.

With captivating dialogue, angst-y characters, and a couple of steamy sex scenes, Hoover has done it again.

Pub Date: Jan. 18, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5420-2560-7

Page Count: 335

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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