Can Dallas’ Interabang Books help make sense of Ukraine-Russia tensions? – The Dallas Morning News

With Russia so much in headlines these days, Lori Feathers, co-owner of Dallas’ Interabang Books, thinks Russian literature may help readers understand the tensions.

The bookstore will soon host a “collective read” of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, an 880-page novel often considered the 19th-century author’s best work.

“I think it’s really timely right now,” Feathers said. “Policymakers, journalists and the population at large are trying to get inside the heads of Putin and the people around him, and figure out what it is about the Russian psyche or soul that confounds us at times and makes it difficult for us to understand their motivations.”

Starting March 1, participants will read between 12 and 15 pages of The Brothers Karamazov every day on their own.

“I really want other people to experience the book,” said Feathers, who has read it in both English and Russian. “This seems a way for us to help people get over the hump.”

Lori Feathers, co-owner of Interabang Books, poses for a portrait at the bookstore in Dallas...

Lori Feathers, co-owner of Interabang Books, poses for a portrait at the bookstore in Dallas on Feb. 16, 2022.(Lola Gomez / Staff Photographer)

Feathers will lead the event with British publisher and writer Sam Jordison, her co-host on a podcast called Across the Pond. The podcast focuses on notable releases from both sides of the Atlantic.

Joining them will be American author Lan Samantha Chang, whose most recent novel, The Family Chao, is modeled after The Brothers Karamazov. While Dostoevsky’s novel takes place in Imperial Russia, Chang’s concerns a Chinese American family in modern-day Wisconsin.

Each day, Feathers will post a tweet about the reading on the podcast’s Twitter page (@across_the_pod), presenting a theme or asking a question. Participants can respond using the hashtag #conquerkaramazov.

Feathers, Jordison and Chang will address comments and questions from readers in regular discussions about the book on the podcast. If there’s sufficient interest, Feathers said Interabang could hold an in-person event in May at the end of the collective read.

The Brothers Karamazov centers on three brothers and their father, a despotic, greedy and lecherous man. A mysterious death leads to a trial and poses difficult questions about morality and guilt.

The collective read represents Feathers’ latest attempt to raise the profile of Dallas’ literary scene. Last August, she launched the North American version of the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses, which will announce its first round of winners in 2023.

Details

For the reading schedule, visit interabangbooks.com/article/conquerkaramazov.

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Tim Diovanni, Staff Writer. Tim Diovanni is reporting on classical music in a fellowship supported in part by the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation. The News makes all editorial decisions.

tim.diovanni@dallasnews.com @howeyehearit