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Author photo. Courtesy of the <a href="http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?1103504">NYPL Digital Gallery</a> (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

Courtesy of the NYPL Digital Gallery (image use requires permission from the New York Public Library)

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Isaac Babel was born in Odessa, Russia, in 1894. He won early success with stories about his native Odessa and about the exploits of the Bolshevik cavalry in the Polish campaign of 1920-21. During the 1930s his output was small, but his talent remained undiminished. He was arrested in May 1939 during the Great Purge, and his manuscripts were confiscated. His exact fate remains unknown. Although Babel's reputation was restored in 1956, he was still published only occasionally in the Soviet Union-the very strong Jewish element in his stories, as well as the ambiguous positions he took on war and revolution, made his stories uncomfortable for Soviet authorities. For a Russian reader, the Odessa Tales (1916) are particularly exotic. Their protagonists, members of the city's Jewish underworld, are presented in romantic, epic terms. The Red Cavalry stories are noted for their account of the horrors of war. In both cycles Babel relies on precisely constructed short plots, on paradox of situation and of character response, and on nonstandard, captivating language-be it the combination of Yiddish, slang, and standard Russian in the Odessa Tales or of uneducated Cossack speech and standard Russian in the Red Cavalry cycle. The result of such features is a prose heritage rare in the history of Russian literature. Isaac Babel passed away in 1941. (Bowker Author Biography) Isaac Babel was born on July 13, 1894 in Odessa, Russia, to a middle-class Jewish family. He attended the Institute of Business Studies. His life was filled with persecution, which greatly influenced his writing. During the civil war that followed the Russian Revolution, Babel served as a soldier in Poland. This experience provided him with material for Red Cavalry, a collection of his stories. Later, in the Odessa Tales, published in 1931, Babel drew on his Jewish heritage to create colorful and memorable characters. As with many great artists in Russia, Babel's creative style was unpopular with the Stalin regime. Babel admitted to a long association with Trotskyites, but denied this testimony at his trial. He was ultimately found guilty of espionage and shot in Moscow in 1939, although, nearly a year later, his wife and the general public were told that he died in a labor camp. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from Collected Stories
… (more)
Collected Stories 986 copies, 15 reviews
Red Cavalry 665 copies, 22 reviews
The Complete Works of Isaac Babel 453 copies, 3 reviews
Odessa Tales 238 copies, 10 reviews
1920 diary 135 copies, 4 reviews
You Must Know Everything 99 copies, 1 review
Toneel 13 copies
Odessa 10 copies
Benya Krik 8 copies
Dziennik 1920 5 copies
Prosa 4 copies
Manoscritto da Odessa 4 copies, 4 reviews
Traonto 4 copies
Rusia. Volumen 2 (Contributor) 2 copies
Sumrak 1 copy
Odessa 1 copy
A Letter 1 copy
Benya Krik 1 copy
My Mistress's Sparrow Is Dead (Contributor) 723 copies, 19 reviews
The Penguin Book of War (Contributor) 394 copies, 1 review
Best Short Stories of the Modern Age (Contributor, some editions) 314 copies, 4 reviews
Great Jewish Short Stories (Author, some editions) 215 copies, 1 review
Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida (Contributor) 196 copies, 2 reviews
Randall Jarrell's Book of Stories (Contributor) 131 copies, 1 review
The Oxford Book of Jewish Stories (Contributor) 118 copies, 2 reviews
Great Modern European Short Stories (Contributor) 106 copies, 1 review
Magical Realist Fiction: An Anthology (Contributor) 99 copies, 1 review
Great Soviet Short Stories (Contributor) 73 copies
Modern Jewish stories (Contributor) 32 copies
Escape: Stories of Getting Away (Contributor) 26 copies
Russische liefdesverhalen (Author) 12 copies
Russische verhalen (Contributor) 11 copies
Moderne joodse verhalen (Contributor) 7 copies
Penguin Modern Stories 4 (Contributor) 7 copies
Het derde Testament : Joodse verhalen (Contributor, some editions) 6 copies
The Noble Savage 3 (Contributor) 4 copies
Prachtig weer verhalen (Contributor) 3 copies
Russland das große Lesebuch (Contributor) 2 copies
50 seltsame Geschichten (Contributor) 1 copy
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