“Red Pyramid”
by Vladimir Sorokin
translated from the Russian by Max Lawton
from the October 4, 2021 issue of The New Yorker

In May of next year, NYRB Classics is publishing Vladimir Sorokin’s Telluria, Sorokin’s 2013 novel in which a Holy War between Europe and Islam has set the world back to feel more like the Middle Ages (I can’t wait!). “Red Pyramid” does not seem to be associated with that world, and I’m thrilled to be reminded of this author’s work. NYRB Classics has published his work in the past, and I have woefully left it unread! I think Telluria itself would get me to read his work, but I’m excited to have this story as a primer!

Here is how it starts:

To put it plainly, Yura confused Fryazino with Fryazevo and went the wrong way. Natasha had explained everything to him: go to Yaroslavsky Station and take the train toward Fryazevo or toward Schelkovo. Her station was Zagoryanskaya and not all trains stopped there. The train toward Fryazevo did, but the train toward Fryazino didn’t. Yura ended up on the train toward Fryazino.

Have you read any Sorokin? How did you like “Red Pyramid”? I hope you’ll let me know in the comments!

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