Yuri Trifonov, now recognized as one of the most distinguished Russian writers of the twentieth century, took a turn toward the controversial - and a leap toward greatness - with the publication of the novellas included in this collection. Two parts of the Moscow trilogy that established Trifonov's reputation, ""The Exchange"" and ""The Long Goodbye,"" are remarkable for their depiction of the complex dilemmas and compromises of Russian life after the Second World War. These works, along with the two short stories included in this volume, detail the moral and spiritual decline in Russia that resulted from the growing distance between the theoretical idealism of the Soviet state and the actual materialism and careerism that increasingly marked Russian society. While immersing readers in the social milieus of his characters and in the specifics of their existence, Trifonov is concerned with finding and examining the precise moment when a man or woman takes a wrong turn in life, the moment of moral betrayal. Trifonov brings the clashes between different generations, cultural backgrounds, ideals, and realities to nuanced, disturbing, and memorable life.
YURI TRIFONOV (1925-81) began publishing in 1947 and received a Stalin Prize for his novel Students in 1951. He wrote a number of well-received works but became an increasingly controversial figure with the publication of ""The Exchange"" (1969), ""Taking Stock"" (1970), and ""The Long Goodbye"" (1971). His works The Old Man (1999), Disappearance (1996), and Another Life & The House on the Embankment (1999) are published by Northwestern University Press.