Sex in Russia is comprised of mostly new and a few award-winning stories that still resonate over the years. Adroitly combining accessibility and subtlety, understated wit and restrained emotion with a predilection for the slightly off-centred, the collection explores a range of human experiences locally and internationally. From a gifted student of science embarrassed by his parents, to a musician who loses his son to a different kind of music, to an old woman reluctant to leave her Chinese prison, Radu's stories often begin with a seemingly minor detail or event and travel from there to the heart of disaffection, despair, hope, and unusual forms of recovery and understanding. Original in concept and challenging ordinary expectations, the stories maintain a firm hold on traditional narrative structures. Sex in Russia continues Radu's venture into new territories of personal experience and emotional drama, maintaining an undercurrent of surprising, sometimes satirical humour throughout.
Kenneth Radu has published books of fiction, poetry and non-fiction, including The Cost of Living, shortlisted for the Governor General's Award. His collection of stories A Private Performance and his novel Distant Relations both received the Quebec Writers' Federation Award for best English-language fiction. His last novel is The Purest of Human Pleasures (Penguin). He is also the author of Sex in Russia: New & Selected Stories (DC Books Canada). Born in Windsor, Ontario, he taught for many years at John Abbott College near Montreal and now writes full time
“Kenneth Radu’s greatest literary strength is his ability to draw others into his fictional settings, cleverly placing interesting characters in intriguing situations. He displays the necessary empathy to reveal his protagonists’ natures, while his morally centered prose provides perspective.”
—Ronald Charles Epstein, Prairie Fire
“Radu writes with a Zen-like calm. Even in the most revealing or emotionally intense passages, his voice remains quiet and reserved…his tact heightens the power of each scene.”
—Erich Schmaltz, Broken Pencil