”A masterpiece of black comedy” —The Irish Times
When Sergei Maxudov writes a play that—to his great surprise and the ill-disguised envy of the rest of literary Moscow—is chosen to be performed at the legendary Independent Theatre, little does he realize what he’s in for. The world of the theatre is dazzling and intoxicating, but Maxudov soon discovers that it’s also a byzantine maze of long-running feuds and truly monumental egos. Scenery is chewed, fits are thrown, and the show, it seems, just might not go on.
Written at the end of Bulgakov’s life, Black Snow, was based on his own experiences with the Moscow Art Theatre and its famous director, Konstantin Stanislavsky, inventor of Method acting. Newly available in Michael Glenny’c celebrated translation—Glenny was the first English translator of Bulgakov’s work and championed it early one—this is the ultimate backstage novel.
”This book is gentle in tone if fierce in substance… Implicit in [Bulgakov’s] holding up of certain aspects of human behavior to contempt and ridicule is a set of stubbornly hopeful values.” —The New York Times Book Review
”A delectable comedy… A book for writers everywhere.” —The Guardian
”The novel moves with mad exuberance.” —The Independent
”This is the book that leaves the great Stanislavsky with sour cream on his face… Wonderfully funny.” —Time
”Bulgakov was unique, with a voice all his own… Humorous rather than witty, horrifying rather than bitter, he was, in his daemonic fantasy and his uproarious laughter, akin to Gogol.” —The New York Review of Books
”One of the great satirists… Bulgakov is a master craftsman.” —The New York Times