Today almost any book can be found in a bookshop or downloaded via the Internet. Thirty years ago the situation was totally different.
During the USSR’s waning years, its book market was undergoing unique transitions: a lot of tabooed authors of the Silver Age, previously censored by the state, including Andrey Platonov, Mikhail Bulgakov, and Boris Pilnyak among many others, were published for the first time, along with some books from the Stalin era, that had been lying as unprinted manuscripts for decades. Parallel to that, a lot of foreign books were translated into Russian. The changes in the book market, however, coincided with the fundamental transitions in society meaning that a lot of them remained unnoticed. The Soviet Union broke down, and a new canon was being formed. We will discuss this groundbreaking episode for the culture of reading in the late Soviet and early Post-Soviet times together with Anna Narinskaya and Gleb Morev.