by Sergei Dovlatov. Weidenfeld & Nicolson $15.95. Mr. Dovlatov’s “Russian Family Album” consists of ironically deadpan sketches of his relatives. That is, he claims the characters are his relatives, but he uses them to present a satirical picture of Soviet society in its more pretentious and irrational aspects. This small book is tart, funny, and maliciously deflative.