ABOUT THIS BOOK
A wildly prolific director, actor, and writer, Vasilii Shukshin (1929-74) reached more Soviets in more media than perhaps any other artist in the post-Stalinist USSR. This first English-language study of Shukshin and his work is thus a portrait of the culture of Soviet Russia after Stalin. John Givens begins with Shukshin's position between cultural realms and social strata: his abandoned peasant heritage in Siberia as the son of a purged kulak on the one hand and his life as a successful artist in Moscow on the other. Givens shows how this clash of cultures and identities was both a burden and the driving force of Shukshin's art-and how it represents a central dichotomy between rural and urban culture in Soviet Russia.This work provides new terms for rereading the culture of Shukshin's time- terms that take up notions of demographic displacement, class difference, and blurred boundaries among genres, audiences, and arts.