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Mikhail Bulgakov

Black Snow ***

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Black Snow (also known as A Theatrical Novel) - here presented in a new translation - is peppered with darkly comic set pieces and draws on its author's own bitter experience as a playwright with the Moscow Arts Theatre, showcasing his inimitable gift for shrewd observation and razor-sharp satire. After being saved from a suicide attempt by a literary editor, the journalist and failed novelist Sergei Maxudov has a book suddenly accepted for stage adaptation at a prestigious venue and finds himself propelled into Moscow's theatrical world. In a cut-throat environment tainted by Soviet politics, censorship and egomania - epitomized by the arrogant and incompetent director Ivan Vasilyevich - absurdity gradually gives way to tragedy. Unpublished in Bulgakov's own lifetime, Black Snow (also known as A Theatrical Novel) - here presented in a new translation - is peppered with darkly comic set pieces and draws on its author's own bitter experience as a playwright with the Moscow Arts Theatre, showcasing his inimitable gift for shrewd observation and razor-sharp satire.