Kolyma Tales

Varlam Shalamov - Author

John Glad - Translator

Paperback | $18.00 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9780140186956 | 528 pages | 01 Feb 1995 | Penguin Classics | 5.07 x 7.79in | 18 - AND UP
Summary of Kolyma Tales Summary of Kolyma Tales Reviews for Kolyma Tales An Excerpt from Kolyma Tales

It is estimated that some three million people died in the Soviet forced-labour camps of Kolyma, in the north-eastern area of Siberia. Shalamov himself spent seventeen years there, and in these stories he vividly captures the lives of ordinary people caught up in terrible circumstances, their hopes and plans extending no further than a few hours.


Through the Snow

On Tick

In the Night


An Individual Assignment

A 'Pushover' Job

Dry Rations

The Injector

The Apostle Paul


Tamara the Bitch

Cherry Brandy

A Child's Drawings

Condensed Milk

The Snake Charmer

The Golden Taiga

Vaska Denisov, Kidnapper of Pigs

A Day Off


Shock Therapy

The Lawyers' Plot

Typhoid Quarantine

The Procurator of Judea

The Lepers

Descendant of a Decembrist

Committees for the Poor


A Piece of Meat


Major Pugachov's Last Battle

The Used-Book Dealer



The Seizure

An Epitaph


The Businessman

Captain Tolly's Love

In the Bathhouse

The Green Procurator

My First Tooth

Prosthetic Appliances

The Train

The Red Cross

Women in the Criminal World


Grishka Logun's Thermometer

Chief of Political Control

The Life of Engineer Kipreev

Mister Popp's Visit

The Theft

The Letter

Fire and Water



‘A brilliant literary talent . . . These tales are a handful of diamonds’ – Harrison Salisbury in the Chicago Tribune

‘One of the most awe-inspiring works of literature to have come out of the Gulag . . . his tales #are# at once a true historical record and a formidable piece of literary invention’ – Sunday Telegraph

‘The material itself would make these stories powerful: Shalamov’s talent makes them devastating’ – Sunday Times

Kolyma Tales poses the ultimate truth of gulag literature’ – Newsweek

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