Spring 2011 • Vol. XXXIII No. 2 FictionApril 1, 2011 |

An Excursion

My grandmother on my mother's side died suddenly at our dacha outside Moscow when I was little. My mother and I were left alone in the world, except for a distant relative or two with whom we had mostly lost touch, and my nurse Polina. My father lived separately from us. He had a new family and a new wife, Alexandra Arkadievna. After my grandmother's death, my mother tried to keep the dacha going, but during the first season the garden grew over and tiles on the roof pulled apart and began to leak. Workmen from a nearby collective farm took advantage of my mother's inexperience. They overcharged her unmercifully, came to work irregularly or drunk, and disappeared with the job half-done. The following fall, on the first anniversary of my grandmother's death, my mother discharged Polina and sold the dacha to a well-to-do psychiatrist, Comrade Gippenshtok. A month or two later, she met another man. They fell in love and got married. Even though I spent every summer of m

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Alexei Bayer was born in Moscow and lives in New York. His short stories have appeared in New England Review and Readings/Chtenia, among other journals. A collection titled Eurotrash was published in a Russian translation in 2004. He translates Russian literature into English and writes fiction, as well as articles on economics, business, and finance, in both languages.    

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My grandmother on my mother's side died suddenly at our dacha outside Moscow when I was little. My mother and I were left alone in the world, except for a […]

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