chapter  10
34 Pages

Alternative Literature II: Games Women Play

WithNadya L. Peterson

Aleksandr Ivanchenko's contribution to alternative literature lies in a deliberate imitation of Western classics of modernist literature, Mikhail Kuraev's in a panoply of possible discourses on a historical event offered to the reader, Petrushevskaia is engaged in imitation as well, but hers is an attempt to recreate a specific vernacular of culture—women's language. Nina Sadur's professional story mirrors that of Petrushevskaia—recognition first came to Sadur in her role as a playwright. Similarly, her prose, written in the last decade, had to wait for the milder climate of Gorbachev's liberalization to be published and appreciated. Tatiana Tolstaya's interest in the psychology of her characters, the opposition between the spiritual and physical realms that often shapes her stories, the density of her narratives, the focus on the grotesque body, and the attention she accords to the power of memory and imagination are the features that the writer shares with other alternative authors.