"A welcome volume of stories from Russia's finest contemporary fiction writer, Mikhail Shishkin, full of his typical fusing of mysticism and modernist experimentation." --Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal The first English-language collection of short stories by Russia's greatest contemporary author, Mikhail Shishkin, the only author to win all three of Russia's most prestigious literary awards. Often included in discussions of Nobel Prize contenders, Shishkin is a master prose writer in the breathtakingly beautiful style of the greatest Russian authors, known for complex, allusive novels about universal and emotional themes. Shishkin's stories read like modern versions of the eternal literature written by his greatest inspirations: Boris Pasternak, Ivan Bunin, Leo Tolstoy, and Mikhail Bulgakov. Shishkin's short fiction is the perfect introduction to his breathtaking oeuvre, his stories touch on the same big themes as his novels, spanning discussions of love and loss, death and eternal life, emigration and exile.Calligraphy Lesson spans Shishkin's entire writing career, including his first published story, the 1993 Debut Prize--winning "Calligraphy Lesson," and his most recent story "Nabokov's Inkblot," which was written for a dramatic adaptation performed in Zurich in 2013. Mikhail Shishkin (b. 1961 in Moscow) is one of the most prominent names in contemporary Russian literature. A former interpreter for refugees in Switzerland, Shishkin divides his time between Moscow, Switzerland, and Germany.