East: Stories from the Last Frontier
Edited by Boris Fishman
Charles & Co.
Fiction/Anthology, 304 pp., 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
$24.95 cl., ISBN: 1-932112-15-4
"The idea of Eastern Europe as an outpost is both obsolete
and uniquely timely, both a historical artifact at a museum
exhibit and the headline of the morning newspaper. It’s
obsolete because the business of statecraft — and the
statecraft of business — has usurped the fluster of
revolution, and the talk today is of garbage pickups instead
of gulags, democratic debate instead of dissidents. But it’s
timely because, for all the distinctions between the Middle
East and Eastern Europe, the liberation experience of the
latter offers invaluable lessons."
— From the Introduction by Boris Fishman
Wild East: Stories From the Last Frontier
is a unique and timely anthology of great writing about one
of the most fractious, mercurial, maladjusted and misunderstood
corners of the globe in a generation. Eastern Europe since
1990 has been a crossroads of iron rule, cowboy commerce,
old hatreds and new licentiousness. In other words, a place
where literature thrives, as it does in the wake of all great
upheavals. Wild East collects the most urgent dispatches
from some of our most gifted cultural correspondents. Drug-addled
New Russians preaching business-speak and "empowerment"
on Nevsky Prospect. A curious and pressing need for a Parisian
blowtorch in the fields of fire in Sarajevo. The romantic
assignment of a particularly fetching Czech intelligence officer.
These are the subjects of Wild East, a lusty and raucous
anthology of stories about the bohemians, danger junkies,
and thrill-seekers reveling in the cultural, social, political
and sexual renaissance that followed the fall of the iron
curtain. Twelve of today’s best young writers, including
Arthur Phillips, Gary Shteyngart, Aleksandar Hemon, Charlotte
Hobson, Paul Greenberg and John Beckman brilliantly explore
the proposition "Prague in the 90s was like Paris in
the 20s." With a dozen new and selected stories, Wild
East showcases fresh and fascinating work by some of the
brightest young literary lights writing today.