Like Water & Other Stories

My debut English-language book, LIKE WATER AND OTHER STORIES, was published by WTAW Press in 2019. Click to buy here.

With settings that range from the Cuban Missile Crisis and Soviet-era Perestroika to present-day San Francisco, LIKE WATER AND OTHER STORIES, the first English-language collection from Leningrad-born author Olga Zilberbourg, looks at family and childrearing in ways both unsettling and tender, and characters who grapple with complicated legacies—of state, parentage, displacement, and identity. LIKE WATER AND OTHER STORIES is a unique portrayal of motherhood, of immigration and adaptation, and an inside account of life in the Soviet Union and its dissolution.

Zilberbourg’s stories investigate how motherhood reshapes the sense of self—and in ways that are often bewildering—against an uncharted landscape of American culture. In “Dandelion,” a child turns into a novel and is shipped off to an agent in New York. In “Doctor Sveta,” a young Soviet woman finds herself on a ship bound for Cuba at the onset of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In “Companionship,” a young boy decides to return to his mother’s uterus. Anthony Marra calls LIKE WATER “…a book of succinct abundance, dazzling in its particulars, expansive in its scope,” and of these stories, Karen E. Bender says, they “cast a clear, illuminating light on topics ranging from motherhood, the workplace, birth, death, ambition, and immigration, all explored through exquisitely wrought characters in Russia and the United States…a writer to read right now.”

Reviews and Media

*** LIKE WATER AND OTHER STORIES has been named a finalist in 2019 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award

Lizok’s Bookshelf review by Lisa C. Hayden

NYU Jordan Center review by Yelena Furman

The Moscow Times review by Anna Kasradze

The Common review by Jen Hinst-White

Los Angeles Review of Books, a shared review with Olga Livshin’s A Life Replaced, by Linda Kinstler

World Literature Today review by Lanie Tankard

Necessary Fiction review by Jaye Viner

Epiphany blog interview by Odette Heideman

The Manchester Review essay by Alicia J. Rouverol

Rain Taxi review by Alta Ifland

Lossi36.com review by Louis Train

Podcast interview for New Books Network by Jennifer Eremeeva

Interview for Write or Die Tribe by Sam Cohen

Barrelhouse review by Alissa Gillon

Femmeliterate review by Misty Urban

Interview for Bloom by Maddie King

I recently talked to Ilana Masad of The Other Stories podcast about my book. Listen to me read two stories and answer a few questions here.