Alexandre Qazbegi — The Prose of the Mountains (1880s)

Three novellas set in the 19th century Caucasus. A rich man becomes a shepard and experiences first-hand the humiliation and extortion the other shepards suffer at the hands of the police and border guards and are harried by bands of Cossacks.

Part of the strong Central European Classics series from the Central European University. Good for depiction of Russian colonisation and deportation of Chechens that resonates today.

Bad for simplistic, macho “man of the nature” characters who come out with lines like “A Chechen woman falls in love slowly and with hesitation, but once she is in love, she is in love forever”.

Rating: *

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