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Sana Krasikov


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Sana Krasikov currently lives in New York, though she was born in 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.

Short Story Collections

One More Thing 
Spiegel & Grau, 2008

winner, 2009 Sami Rohr Prize

Reviewed by Michelle Reale

 Interview with Sana Krasikov

The Short Review: 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 ode.

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.

TSR: What 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.

TSR: Do you have a "reader" in mind when you write stories?

SK:  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?

SK:

TSR: How does it feel knowing that people are buying your book?

SK: I 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 about that.

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 Banks’ Success Stories. 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.