Snow in May
Henry Holt
Kseniya Melnik
“Love, Italian Style, or in Line for Bananas”

“Love, Italian Style, or in Line for Bananas” is from Kseniya Melnik’s debut book, a linked story collection, SNOW IN MAY (Henry Holt, 2014). Melnik’s collection portrays life in Magadan, Russia, a town notorious for its Gulag labor camps. She received her MFA from NYU. Her work has appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Epoch, Virginia Quarterly Review, Prospect (UK), and she was selected for Granta’s New Voices series. She was born in Russia and currently lives in El Paso, Texas.


In conversation with Rachel Martin on NPR, Melnik said this about the collection: I think this whole book is a way of reconciling my happy childhood memories with a more complex reality. Some of the issues are the lives of women, for example, and what a successful life means. I think it’s a thread that connects all the women in the stories, where they’re never quite satisfied with what they have. And they have dreams, and they, you know, just on a very basic level bump up against either historical circumstances of how can a woman advance her life.


The collection has been widely praised.


“Kseniya Melnik’s beautiful Snow in May is an education in how history is routed, refracted, and reconciled inside the human heart.” — Anthony Marra, author of the bestselling and award-winning A Constellation of Vital Phenomena


“… breathtaking debut … Melnik’s tales burn with life.” — Laura van den Berg, author of The Isle of Youth
“… it’s the best story collection you’ll read this year” — Darin Strauss, bestselling author of Half a Life


“Funny and sad, tender and tough … the characters transcend the setting, and they will break your heart.”– Anya Ulinich, author of Petropolis

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