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Moscow But Dreaming Paperback – November 27, 2012
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Although distinctly different to each other, these magical realism stories share a voice so similar that it could have almost been the same character speaking, particularly in the first half of the book. This gives it more unity than many collections of short stories and would make it more readable for those who prefer longer works.
These are stories to be savoured, like a fine meal not to be rushed, so much so that I read them over a long period of time, reading just one between longer works. As in all collections of stories, I enjoyed some more than others, but the image that remains with me most strongly is fox stoles, complete with glass eyes, seemingly coming alive in a shop full of musty old things.
I recommend this to anyone who likes magical realism and fine literature with a haunting flavour.
Still, when Sedia was writing in what appears to be her comfort zone, magical realist and fairy tale influenced stories set either in modern-day Russia or among Russian immigrants elsewhere in the world, she was quite impressive. "Citizen Komorova Finds Love," "Tin Cans," and "You Dream" were all incredibly evocative, packing both significant thematic and emotional punches into not very many pages. None of these three are happy stories -- actually none of the stories in the entire collection is happy -- but they resonate the way short fiction ought, illuminating little corners of much larger worlds.