Many thanks to Ken Kalfus for reading an advance copy of my forthcoming story collection, Vladimir’s Mustache, and having these kind words to say:
All Hail Stephan Clark! With terrific gusto, insight, and compassion, Clark’s first book of short stories brilliantly illuminates the lives of men and women trapped in Russian history and the muddled post-Soviet present. Vladimir’s Mustache is a solid achievement, as well as a beguiling introduction to a new literary talent.
Ken’s Commissariat of Englightenment was one of the books I was reading when I started writing the first of the stories that went into my collection. More recently, I finished his A Disorder Peculiar to the Country, a book that does for divorce what Romeo & Juliet did for first love. One of my favorite sections involves the husband’s attempts to drive down the value of his wife’s 401k by secretly rolling over her investments into “those funds and stocks that were famous for being losers: the written-off, the faded, the infirm, the SEC-investigated, the collapsed, a mutual fund that unerringly chose hopeless IPOs.” Great, great stuff.