This is a revelatory collection of stories by little-known Russian writer Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky. Writing in the 1920s in the Soviet Union, Krzhizhanovsky often didn’t even attempt to find publishers for his Kafkaesque tales of spiritually deadening life in Moscow.

The stories are startlingly ahead of their time, often taking on a postmodern self-awareness. They explore the nature of storytelling and its importance (a response to the Soviet Union’s chokehold on the art of the time, but still timely).

One of the best stories, “Quadraturin,” has a man buying a spray-on product that makes rooms bigger. He tries it, only to eventually find that his closet-size apartment has grown into an endless black space in which he is lost.

Joanne Turnbull provides an artful translation.

Grade: A-

Memories of the Future is currently available.