The Body of the Soul

Liudmila Ulitskaia


We send all orders via Royal Mail: within the UK, choose from 1st Class, 2nd Class or Special Delivery; for the rest of the world, International Standard or International Tracked. Delivery and packaging charges are calculated automatically at the checkout.

To collect orders in person from the Bookshop, choose Click and Collect at the checkout.

Yale University Press
9 January 2024
ISBN: 9780300270938
168 pages

From the publisher

A new collection of stories by the acclaimed Ludmila Ulitskaya, masterfully translated into English

A New Yorker Best of the Week Pick * A Library Journal choice for Best World Literature of 2023 * A World Literature Today Notable Translation of 2023

"[A] magnificent collection . . . [by] a writer of boundless tenderness."-Genevieve Brisac, Le Monde

"Centrifugal, pensive, often elusive stories by one of the greatest living Russian writers (and leading anti-Putinist). . . . The stories are marvels of economy and the unexpected twist, each a memorable tour de force. . . . A welcome introduction to the short fiction of an essential writer."-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

While we can feel, know, and study the body, the soul refuses definition. Where does it begin and end? What does the soul have to do with love? Does it exist at all, and if so, does it outlast the body? Or are the soul and body really one and the same?

These are questions posed by the characters who inhabit this book of stories by the award-winning Russian writer Ludmila Ulitskaya. A woman believes that the best way to control her life is to control her death. A landscape photographer wonders if the beauty he has witnessed can triumph over decay. A coroner dedicated to science is confronted by a startling physical anomaly, a lonely divorcee experiences an extraordinary transformation, a librarian whose life is devoted to language finds words slipping away from her.

In these eleven stories, artfully rendered into English by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, Ulitskaya maps the edges of our lives, tracing a delicate geography of the soul.