Lolotta and other Paris stories

Book edition
33,00 PLN
10,00 PLN
Author: Anna Matwiejewa
Edition: 1st
Publishing date: 2019
Binding : Paperback
Number of sites: 414
ISBN: 978-83-64486-65-4

They say that everyone has a Paris of their own. It might be the French capital, a new residential estate or a Russian village called Paris by the Cossacks in the 17th century.

Matveeva’s Paris permeates the characters, becoming an (un)achievable destination, a trauma, an escape, a solace, a home or an exile. It changes them and, at the same time, becomes the protagonist of the story and its spiritus movens. Another city,  Yekaterinburg, also emerges from the book. Located on the border between Europe and Asia, sometimes harsh, chaotic and dangerous, this city is capable of restoring peace of mind. Matveeva creates universal and warm stories which sometimes make us laugh and sometimes leave a bitter aftertaste. She skilfully uses her words, which helps readers to immerse themselves in her world. It is easy to get attached to her characters and hard to part with them. However, there is no unnecessary pathos or cheap sentimentalism here. It is just about humans, with all their weaknesses that mirror our own.


“Lolotta and Other Parisian Stories” is the fruit of an innovative project by the Centre for Polish-Russian Dialogue and Understanding entitled “Polish-Russian Translation School. Words to Words,” which aims at educating a new generation of translators and promoting Russian writers who have not yet been translated into Polish.


How come a Yekaterinburg psychologist knows the secrets of Lolotta, Modigliani’s model? How can an Orthodox healer from Fiershamka defeat diseases sent in February 2013 by a meteorite? Critics have labelled Anna Matveeva’s warm and mysterious prose as “magic realism of the Urals.” This collection of nine short stories, “Lolotta and Other Parisian Stories,” is the Polish debut of this writer, journalist and editor, and a debut of her nine young translators. But, most of all, it is a fascinating Ural-Paris-Ural journey, from Cossack steppes to Montmartre inns and back. Along the way, there are unexpected changes from the seat of a factory director to economy class and astonishing social advancements in contemporary Russia. Are you ready? Fasten your seatbelts!

Anna Żebrowska, Gazeta Wyborcza daily


Brilliant and witty, reminiscent of the best storytelling traditions. Chekhov with his affection for the protagonist is one thing, Zoshchenko and his ability to see the absurdity and comical elements in seemingly mundane and ordinary things, and finally Nabokov with the human humidity that makes these texts come to life, tingle and pull in different directions. It’s great that Polish readers are now getting contemporary Russian stories, and it’s even better that they come through excellent translations.

Weronika Murek, writer

On Anna Matveeva:

“I didn’t have much choice. As a child, I already knew I would become a writer,” says Anna Matveeva. Born in 1972, she lives in Yekaterinburg, a city which often serves as the background or protagonist of her novels. She started writing professionally in the 1990s. To date, she has published 17 novels and collections of short stories, all of them very popular in Russia. Critics have labelled her works as “magic realism from the Urals.” Matveeva’s prose has been translated into Italian, French, Czech, Chinese and Finnish. “Lolotta and Other Parisian Stories” is Matveeva’s first book published in Polish.