“My favorite writer of fiction is Isaac Babel, primarily for one book, Red Cavalry. I find [it] endlessly haunting for its blunt yet somehow elusive style…it invariably leaves me feeling off balance and on edge. And I can't stop rereading it.” (Richard Price - New York Times Book Review)
“Marvelously subtle, tragic, and often comic commentaries on the desecration of revolutionary activity.” (James Wood - The New Republic)
“From the very first story, Red Cavalry opens like a cannon shot. In glorious, expressionist description, a cavalry division has forded the Zbrucz River at night…Amid beauty, amid courage and even warmth that are often overwhelming, there are butchery and murder, acts that can never be forgiven, only forgotten, and Babel does not let you forget.” (James Salter - Los Angeles Times Book Review)
Isaac Babel was a journalist, playwright, and short story writer, whose works include the Russian masterpieces Red Cavalry and The Odessa Tales. He was arrested and executed in a Soviet prison in 1940.
Nathalie Babel, his daughter, edited two other books of Babel's writing and is the author of Hugo and Dostoevsky.
Peter Constantine's most recent translations are Sophocles’ Theban Trilogy, The Essential Writings of Machiavelli, and The Bird is a Raven by Benjamin Lebert, which was awarded the Helen und Kurt Wolff Translation Prize. He was awarded the PEN Translation Prize for Six Early Stories by Thomas Mann, and the National Translation Award for The Undiscovered Chekhov: Thirty-Eight New Stories. His translation of the complete works of Isaac Babel received the Koret Jewish Literature Award and a National Jewish Book Award citation. He has recently translated Gogol’s Taras Bulba, Tolstoy’s The Cossacks, and Voltaire’s Candide for Modern Library. He was one of the editors for A Century of Greek Poetry: 1900-2000, and is a senior editor at Conjunctions.
Michael Dirda, who won a Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism at the Washington Post Book World, is the author of An Open Book, Bound to Please, and Readings: Essays and Literary Entertainments. He lives in Silver Spring, Maryland.
During the Polish-Soviet War of 1920-1921, Isaac Babel was attached to the Red Army Cavalry that fought in Southern Poland. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Grey Wolffe
Babel weaves in and out between the real and the surreal--between what he sees and what he thinks and dreams. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Jerry Treadway