“Mama” was written in 1960 but first published only in 1989, in the volume Neskol’ko pechal’nykh dnei [A Few Sad Days]. Like Grossman’s other last stories, it is more laconic and more modernist than his two great Stalingrad novels, Za pravoe delo (For a Just Cause [English translation titled “Stalingrad”]) and Zhizn’ i sud’ba [Life and Fate]. In Life and FateGrossman spells out his thoughts very clearly indeed and is not afraid to repeat them; in his last stories he often only hints at them. If Life and Fateis comparable to a Shostakovich symphony, these stories are more like his quartets.
Like much of Grossman’s fiction, &…
Chandler, Robert. "Mama". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 December 2018
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=35779, accessed 25 May 2019.]