A Journey into Nostalgia: Ariadna Linn on Stories by Yuriy Serebriasky

Serebrianky, Yuriy. Stories.

This collection by Yuriy Serebriansky includes three short stories different in meaning and very close to each other in mood. These short travels remind you of places you have never been to. The first story, “Girl on the Garage Roof” sends you into a small city in Poland, while the last one, “Junkies,” takes you to a pioneer camp of a still existing USSR. In the one in the middle, “Trams Run on Schedule”, the narrator just walks along the cozy streets of Gdansk holding your hand, making you feel like you’ve been living there forever. 

Read more: A Journey into Nostalgia: Ariadna Linn on Stories by Yuriy Serebriasky

These three stories, however, are not about the things they are named after. They are neither about girls, trams or junkies. And to be honest, it doesn’t even matter what exactly they are about. What matters is the journey into magnificent poetics that Yuriy so generously invites you to. And he made sure this journey will not be on a plastic boat.

All three stories are united by a strong feeling of nostalgia. Nostalgia for your hometown or your first awkward experience in romance. They can almost remind you of your mother’s voice coming from the kitchen or the last school summer you remember. “I was slow-dancing with a girl whose name I don’t remember. Her neck smelled lovely,” the narrator says, and you can hear the songs they played when you were fifteen.

The narrator names a street he turns to, and you feel déjà vu – you are not sure that you have never been to this place anymore.

Maybe it is the careful description of a local bakery, or a vivid picture of the furniture from IKEA that makes you relate to these stories, or maybe it is because the narrator talks about you. Not just anyone, but you. There are moments where he will make you laugh, but only because you are thrown off by how accurate his depiction of you appeared in the story. The first time you were brave enough to break the rules with your classmate and were happy that you weren’t caught. Or the time when you were drinking wine on a summer terrace, alone, sharing thoughts with an imaginary listener. No matter what kind of memory it evokes in you, one thing is always true: Yuriy can make you feel like home in his texts.

Yuriy Serebriansky is a Kazakhstani author of Polish origin who writes prose, poetry and translates. He teaches at OLSA and works as an editor for Kazakhstani Polish diaspora magazine “Ałmatyński Kurier Polonijny” and Russian literary magazine “Literratura”. His works have been translated into many languages and published in a number of different magazines. Yuriy has been awarded the prize “Russkaya Premia” twice and his book Kazakhstani Fairy Tales was named the best bilingual book for young in 2017.  

Ariadna Linn is a young aspiring writer from Kazakhstan. She started her writing journey as a poet, but now she tries herself in different genres such as fiction, creative nonfiction and experimental prose. She currently studies literature and foreign languages at Nazarabayev University. Her work has been published in the literary magazine “Angime”.

Author: Houndart

Poet, photographer, reader, translator. Ukrainian. Read now: Fifty-Six North, poems. https://amzn.to/2Qck2J3

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