Back Pages Books

Andrey Kurkov

Friday night’s reading in Waltham afforded me the opportunity to meet, and read with, one of the most popular and bestselling authors in Ukrainian history. Andrey Kurkov is the author of eighteen novels, three of which – Death and the Penguin, Penguin Lost and The Case of the General’s Thumb – have recently been published as part of Melville House’s International Crime Series. Andrey and I met at Back Pages Books in Waltham in order to read from, and talk about, our work.

I especially enjoyed our conversation after the readings, during which we discussed our decisions to write about Volkswagens and penguins (versus other cars/animals), surrealism, and issues of craft. At one point I read Andrey my favorite excerpt from Death and the Penguin, for example, and he drew connections between the sentiment of that excerpt and the politics and culture of Russia and the Ukraine.

I was thankful to have a chance to chat with him – and thankful, too, to all of those who attended despite the inclement weather!

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