Iskander, Fazil Abdulovich

Iskander, Fazil Abdulovich, 1929–2016, Russian writer, grad. Moscow Library Institute, 1954. Iskander's novels and stories, mainly set in his native Abkhazia, are charmingly satirical portraits of village life amid the absurdities of the Soviet regime. He began his literary career in the 1950s as a poet, but he came to public attention in the mid-1960s with his short stories and the novella Sozvezdie kozlotura (1966, tr. Goatibex Constellation, 1975), a humorous treatment of Khrushchev's agricultural schemes and pseudoscientific Soviet genetic theories through the tale of an Abkhazian journalist's involvement in a goat-ibex hybridization experiment. Iskander's major work is the trilogy Sandro iz Chegema. Begun in 1966 and added into the 21st cent., this collection of anecdotes details the title character's adventures in his mountain village and the conflict between Soviet communism and traditional Abkhazian values and customs. It was published in a heavily censored Soviet version (1977), and in a complete edition in the West (1979, tr. Sandro of Chegem, 1983). Iskander also wrote a number of other novels, e.g. Kroliki & udavy (1982, tr. Rabbits and Boa Constrictors, 1989), and published more than 20 short-story collections.

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