Title: Moscow But Dreaming
Author: Ekaterina Sedia
Publisher: Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. Prime Books
Genre: magical realism
This is probably the best book of short stories I have ever read. The prose is excellent, finely honed and beautiful to read. The author skilfully uses words to paint stories with a memorable and distinctly Northern European atmosphere, somewhat reminiscent of the great Russian authors.
Although distinctly different to each other, these magical realism stories share a voice so similar that it could have almost been the same character speaking, particularly in the first half of the book. This gives it more unity than many collections of short stories and would make it more readable for those who prefer longer works.
These are stories to be savoured, like a fine meal not to be rushed, so much so that I read them over a long period of time, reading just one between longer works. As in all collections of stories, I enjoyed some more than others, but the image that remains with me most strongly is fox stoles, complete with glass eyes, seemingly coming alive in a shop full of musty old things.