Krasikov currently lives in New York, though she was born
the Ukraine and grew up in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia as
well as the United States. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writer’s
Workshop, a recipient of an O.Henry Award and a Fulbright Scholarship.
Her stories have a appeared in a variety of venues, including The New Yorker, The Atlantic
Monthly, The Virginia Quarterly, Epoch and Zoetrope. She is
currently at work on a novel.
with Sana Krasikov
How long did it take you to write all the stories in your collection?
Sana Krasikov: I
started them around 2004, and completed the last story in 2007, then
spent a while editing them.
TSR: Did you
have a collection in mind when you were writing them?
SK: Not really. I always
loved short stories, so it was natural for me to start with them. I
tended to get hypnotized by stories that let me glimpse at the shape of
an entire life. I remember reading John Updike’s story, The Other about a
man who marries an identical twin, and then watches her change over the
years. Eventually – I forgot the circumstances – he ends up sleeping
with the sister, who is by then a tan, leathery-skinned California
version of his pale soft wife. I loved Updike’s ability to commit to
the characters over a lifetime. It made the story feel almost like an
TSR: How did
you choose which stories to include and in what order?
SK: A couple of
stories weren’t included – one of which was among my favorites. In the
end I decided to sacrifice it for some thematic unity – it’s like
having a fashion collection – the pieces have to stand alone but they
have to echo each other too. Otherwise what you got is a bargain rack
at T.J. Max.
does the word "story"
mean to you?
SK:It’s a good
question. When I wrote stories, I’d always start with a situation that
seemed to be one way at the beginning and another way at the end.
Sometimes the characters changed and sometimes they didn’t. But I’ve
changed over the past two years, and I want new characters to go
through some growth as well.
have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?
I think there’s something dangerous about this. My first commitment is
always to the reality of characters and the world of the story. I want
to be so inside it that I can’t even imagine it as “fiction.”
TSR: Is there
anything you'd like to ask someone who has read your collection,
anything at all?
TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?
was listening to Betty Wright the other night - I discovered her
accidentally on the internet listening to Angie Stone, and I thought,
goodness, I can't believe I haven't been listening to this woman for
the past nine years. And you know, Betty Wright, who lives in Miami,
will probably never know who I am. And there's something beautiful
TSR: What are
you working on now?
SK: I'm trying to
start a novel.
TSR: What are
the three most recent short story collections you've read?
SK: I read
Joan Silber’s Ideas
of Heaven. Her story The High Road
is worth it alone. Talk about someone who knows how to write about
Morality; she’s like Aristotle. I’ve been re-reading Russell
It’s interesting to read the short stories of a novelist I admire so
much – it’s like finding a hidden facet of somebody you think you know
well. I’ve also discovered Ivan Bunin. Probably the most American of
the Russian writers.