For much of his life Vasily Grossman was engaged in protracted battles, struggling to publish, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing. His debut as a professional writer, however, was surprisingly swift and successful. In 1934 he published not only Glyukauf (Glück Auf), a novel about a coal-mining community in the Donbass, but also a short story, V gorode Berdicheve (“In the Town of Berdichev”), set during the Polish-Soviet War (February 1919 – March 1921). This story about a woman commissar serving with a Red Army cavalry unit was printed in the prestigious Literaturnaya gazeta (The Literary Gazette) and attracted considerable attention.
The plot is relatively …
Chandler, Robert. "V gorode Berdicheve". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 April 2019
[https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=38909, accessed 19 June 2019.]