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

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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


A captivating allegory about evil, lies, and forgiveness.

Truth and deception clash in this tale of the Holocaust.

Udo Graf is proud that the Wolf has assigned him the task of expelling all 50,000 Jews from Salonika, Greece. In that city, Nico Krispis is an 11-year-old Jewish boy whose blue eyes and blond hair deceive, but whose words do not. Those who know him know he has never told a lie in his life—“Never be the one to tell lies, Nico,” his grandfather teaches him. “God is always watching.” Udo and Nico meet, and Udo decides to exploit the child’s innocence. At the train station where Jews are being jammed into cattle cars bound for Auschwitz, Udo gives Nico a yellow star to wear and persuades him to whisper among the crowd, “I heard it from a German officer. They are sending us to Poland. We will have new homes. And jobs.” The lad doesn’t know any better, so he helps persuade reluctant Jews to board the train to hell. “You were a good little liar,” Udo later tells Nico, and delights in the prospect of breaking the boy’s spirit, which is more fun and a greater challenge than killing him outright. When Nico realizes the horrific nature of what he's done, his truth-telling days are over. He becomes an inveterate liar about everything. Narrating the story is the Angel of Truth, whom according to a parable God had cast out of heaven and onto earth, where Truth shattered into billions of pieces, each to lodge in a human heart. (Obviously, many hearts have been missed.) Truth skillfully weaves together the characters, including Nico; his brother, Sebastian; Sebastian’s wife, Fannie; and the “heartless deceiver” Udo. Events extend for decades beyond World War II, until everyone’s lives finally collide in dramatic fashion. As Truth readily acknowledges, his account is loaded with twists and turns, some fortuitous and others not. Will Nico Krispis ever seek redemption? And will he find it? Author Albom’s passion shows through on every page in this well-crafted novel.

A captivating allegory about evil, lies, and forgiveness.

Pub Date: Nov. 14, 2023

ISBN: 9780062406651

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2023


A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.

Three woman who join together to rent a large space along the beach in Los Angeles for their stores—a gift shop, a bakery, and a bookstore—become fast friends as they each experience the highs, and lows, of love.

Bree is a friendly but standoffish bookstore owner who keeps everyone she knows at arm’s length, from guys she meets in bars to her friends. Mikki is a settled-in-her-routines divorced mother of two, happily a mom, gift-shop owner, and co-parent with her ex-husband, Perry. And Ashley is a young, very-much-in-love bakery owner specializing in muffins who devotes herself to giving back to the community through a nonprofit that helps community members develop skills and find jobs. When the women meet drooling over a boardwalk storefront that none of them can afford on her own, a plan is hatched to divide the space in three, and a friendship—and business partnership—is born. An impromptu celebration on the beach at sunset with champagne becomes a weekly touchpoint to their lives as they learn more about each other and themselves. Their friendship blossoms as they help each other, offering support, hard truths, and loving backup. Author Mallery has created a delightful story of friendship between three women that also offers a variety of love stories as they fall in love, make mistakes, and figure out how to be the best—albeit still flawed—versions of themselves. The men are similarly flawed and human. While the story comes down clearly on the side of all-encompassing love, Mallery has struck a careful balance: There is just enough sex to be spicy, just enough swearing to be naughty, and just enough heartbreak to avoid being cloying.

A book begging to be read on the beach, with the sun warming the sand and salt in the air: pure escapism.

Pub Date: May 31, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-778-38608-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harlequin MIRA

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2022

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