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A Russian Disease by Vladimir Savich
Sample stories from the collection:
A Russian Disease
Allegro Moderato
A Russian Disease and Other Stories // by Vlad Savich
private circulation
paper binding
Vlad Savich
// Click here to learn more about this author at his Amazon page.

"Amid the unsightly and modern vulgarity, his work is like fresh water, an oasis in the desert."

- Alexey Nikolaev, editor, Vologda

The fourteen tales in this rock-and-roll storybook blend memoir with social history, sly family drama with political pamphleteering. Dedicated to those victimized and stigmatized in Russia byanti-gay oppression, and those who fight against such injustice.

Critical acclaim for Savich's writing:

Vitaly Grushko, literary critic for the St. Petersburg News: "The heroes in the stories of Vladimir Savich are intelligent people trapped under the wheels of fate. They could live happily if nobody asked them to make a deal with his own conscience. But miracles, it is known, do not happen. Hence, one of them becomes a cripple, another a traitor, and a third and the all rest fall into the hole of time. The author’s ingenuity cannot be denied. If these are meant to be humorous stories, I wouldn’t recommend them to readers with weak nerves. They are not uplifting tales."

David Tacium, writer, translator, professor: "These stories are full of vivid flavors, of the lives of Russians and Russian émigrés. Savich manages to present whole destinies in a few pages, having much the same economy one finds in writers like Sergei Dovlatov. This could be Chekhov a hundred years down the line."

Russell Bennetts, editor and publisher of Berfrois: "Vladimir Savich is mad, bad and dangerous to read. From his stateside seat, Savich fires out Bulgakovian missives of jest fired at that great buffoon, Putin."

Alexandr Kolesnikov, editor-in-chief of Koleso: "Vladimir Savich is without doubt one of the most significant figures of Russian prose in Canada. For many years, his work has enjoyed popularity and high renown in Canadian literary circles. Vladimir Savich is full of surprises, twists and drama; his characters endure long and painful searches for their place in this world. Savich’s prose is like water—bright and clear. His stories are about the past but take place in the present and future, and many of them are about the totalitarian atrocities that are again beginning to gain strength in Russia."

Elena Kolyadina, 2010 winner of the Russian Booker Prize: "Savich is a talented, professional writer with a unique personality, a great sense of humor and strong style, masculine and clear. I add that he is a master of dialogue. These wonderful stories are worthy of the Chekhov Prize, and I read and recommend them with pleasure."

Irina Buzko, literary critic: "From story to story, the reader will find a portrait of a generation: vivid images, grimaces, Soviet distortions and excesses, cramps, tricks and gambits of the little man faced with soulless bureacucracy, the longings of youth, signs of the time. Savich’s prose conceals no secret treasures; the critic doesn’t have to trudge through muddy waters. His is a unique prose style. Conventions are turned inside-out, like figures in the engravings of Honore Daumier. These stories are clearly more than a mere chronicle written by some faceless, abstract author. Rather, we hear the voice of a narrator, devoid of rhetoric or cloying pathos, and quite distinct from the author, itself a target of the author’s irony. At times this voice is hard, others—fun and clownish. These stories give hope for new, unique and original texts."

Olga Pussinen, editor of Vieraat rannat: "The stories in this book have given me sincere pleasure."

Vladimir Turovsky, publisher of Nasha Gazeta: "It is not the purpose of the writer to merely retell various stories, but also to display the time in which he lives. The objective of literature is not to deliver a fun experience to the reader, but to create a merger of peace and progress. The stories of Vladimir Savich fulfill these duties."

Tatiana Istomina, editor of New Poetry: "Savich’s stories call to mind Chekhov’s rifle, which we know will go off before the end of the tale. But Savich goes further; his prose is like the instructions to build a bomb, whose existence the reader only comes to find out about in the end explosion"

About the author:

Vlad Savich was only a child, growing up in the Soviet Union, when he began to dream of freedom. He tried to build a boat in which to sail to the shores of freedom; the boat sank. He tried to join a choir that was going abroad; they didn't admot him because he'd earned a reputation as a trouble-maker during his time in Komsomol. So, he buried his hope. However! Fate gave him a second chance—he met and married a Jewish woman. (As the old Soviets used to say: "The Jew is not a nationality, the Jew is a means of transportation.")

After completing his education at Belarus State University and seeing through the birth of his daughter, he and his wife escaped the USSR. The family now lives in Montreal where they breathe the air of freedom.

Vlad's prose and plays belong to a literary school he calls Prerealism. His writing has appeared in publications including Volga, New Youth, Queen Mob's Teahouse, Berfrois, Clarion, New Review, Day and Night, Slovo/Word, Vologda Literature, Darial, and Khreshchatyk.

In addition to his writing, he is a director and actor with the Montreal Russian Theater, and a supporter of Jewish civic organizations including the YM-YWHA Jewish Community Centres of Montreal and the Jewish Congress of Quebec.

His personal website is

About his name: He prefers to be called "Vlad" rather than "Vladimir", so as not to be associated with the disreputable activity of a certain barnardine Russian leader.