Mikhail Zoshchenko (1895-1958) was born in St. Petersburg and served in the Russian Army in the First World War. Invalided out, he traveled throughout Russia after the Revolution and saw a spell of service in the Red Army. He came back to St. Petersburg in 1921 and started to publish humorous satirical stories, which achieved considerable popularity. After the Second World War he was attacked by the Stalinist state and expelled from the Union of Soviet Writers. This marked the end of his literary career. This selection of short stories is confined to the 1920s, when Zoshchenko's talent found his best expression. Although written in a slangy familiar style, these stories are not essentially difficult for a student. An Introduction and Notes in English provide background and assistance in translation, and there is a useful Vocabulary.
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