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St. Petersburg Noir (Russia)

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Following Akashic’s success with Moscow Noir, this new volume explores the dark beating heart of Russia’s cultural mecca.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

“The Russian soul is well suited to a style defined by dark, hard-edged moodiness in underground settings . . . For all sophisticated crime fiction readers.”
Library Journal

“Fourteen uniformly strong stories in this outstanding noir anthology devoted to Russia’s second city, St. Petersburg. With its rich if often tragic history, deep literary traditions, inspiring landscape, famous architecture, and an aging population stuffed into overcrowded ‘kommunalkas’ amid a post-Soviet decline and soaring crime rate, the city provides an ideal backdrop for crime fiction . . . The diversity of these skillfully crafted tales testifies to the vigor of contemporary Russian writing.”
Publishers Weekly


Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

Brand-new stories by: Lena Eltang, Sergei Nosov, Alexander Kudriavstev, Andrei Kivinov, Julia Belomlinsky, Natalia Kurchatova, Ksenia Venglinskaya, Eugene Kogan, Anton Chizh, Vladimir Berezin, Andrei Rubanov, and others.

From the introduction by Julia Goumen & Natalia Smirnova:

“When you think of the most noir city in Russia, the name that springs to mind is St. Petersburg. This link between the place, its character, and the genre has become quite paradoxically the biggest challenge for the authors in this anthology, who must balance their work with the city’s rich noir tradition and at the same time transform daily criminal headlines into a literary experience. Indeed, the tradition of noir writing in St. Petersburg features the greatest names of Russian literature. Most obviously, one thinks of the nineteenth century: Fyodor Dostoevsky, Alexander Pushkin, and Nikolai Gogol . . . The origins of this rich noir tradition come from the city’s history, its urban landscape, and even the weather, as Petersburg’s climate undoubtedly affects local character . . . St. Petersburg is famous for its canals, rivers, embankments, and bridges. This romantic landscape offers poetic comparisons to Venice in Italy, but also implies fluctuation, unsteadiness, fluidity that diffuses the local character and its morals . . . The city’s inescapable anguish will seize every reader, resonating to the maddening clopping sound of the Bronze Horseman.”

Table of Contents


Part I: Gangsters, Soldiers & Patriots
“Training Day” by Andrei Kivinov (Kupchino)
“The Sixth of June” by Sergei Nosov (Moskovsky Prospect)
“Wake Up, You’re a Dead Man Now” by Vadim Levental (New Holland)
“The Witching Hour” by Alexander Kudriavtsev (Dostoevsky Museum)

Part II: A Watery Grave
“Peau de Chagrin” by Natalia Kurchatova & Ksenia Venglinskaya (Rybatskoye)
“Drunk Harbor” by Lena Eltang (Drunk Harbor)
“Barely a Drop” by Andrei Rubanov (Liteyny Avenue)
“Swift Current” by Anna Solovey (Kolomna)
“The Phantom of the Opera Forever” by Julia Belomllinsky (Arts Square)

Part III: Chasing Ghosts
“The Nutcracker” by Anton Chizh (Haymarket Square)
“Paranoia” by Mikhail Lialin (Lake Dolgoe)
“The Hairy Sutra” by Pavel Krusanov (Moika Embankment, 48)
“A Cabinet of Curiosities” by Eugene Kogan (Kunstkamera)
“Hotel Angleterre” by Vladimir Berezin (Hotel Angleterre)

Book Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Published: 8/14/12
  • IBSN: 9781617751011
  • e-IBSN: 9781617751226


JULIA GOUMEN was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1977, and has a PhD in English. She has been working in publishing since 2001, and since 2006 has run the Goumen & Smirnova Literary Agency with Natalia Smirnova, with whom she coedited Moscow Noir and St. Petersburg Noir.

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NATALIA SMIRNOVA was born in 1978 in Moscow. In 2006 she cofounded the Goumen & Smirnova Literary Agency with Julia Goumen, representing Russian authors worldwide. She and Goumen coedited both Moscow Noir and St. Petersburg Noir.

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