ABSTRACT

The selections in this Anthology overturn Soviet-era taboos with a vengeance. First published in the aftermath of Mikhail Gorbachev's liberalizing reforms, these stories revel in the basic commonalities of human experience even as they reassert a peculiarly Russian belief in the spiritual, mystical, and supernatural. They satirize Soviet literary canons while exploring a full gamut of styles, from neorealism to magico-folkloric fantasy. Included in the volume are works by well-known pioneers of the "new women's prose" as well as by less familiar talents. Bold in thematic conception and stylistic experimentation, their stories are socially engaged–in the classic Russian literary tradition–and yet at the same time intensely personal. While many of these writers share a feminist outlook, their perspectives are vastly disparate and often steeped in a peculiarly post-Soviet irony: In one story, for example, a girl with no money and no prospects of earning any turns to prostitution–and fails because of her lack of entrepreneurial talent. Yet common to all are recurrent and interwoven motifs of self-discovery, sexual power, emotional attachment, social alienation, and vulnerability to uncontrollable forces. The ambiguous ways in which these themes are played out reveal much about what has changed and what remains at the core of a complex culture in transition.

chapter |10 pages

Introduction

ByHelena Goscilo

chapter |14 pages

March 1953

ByLudmilla Ulitskaya

chapter |15 pages

Piggy

BySvetlana Vasilenko

chapter |27 pages

Conscience Deluded

ByLydia Ginzburg

chapter |48 pages

The Three "Loves" of Masha Peredreeva

ByGalina Scherbakova

chapter |8 pages

The Game

ByIrina Polyanskaya

chapter |15 pages

Witch's Tears

ByNina Sadur

chapter |4 pages

Steps

ByKsenia Klimova

chapter |3 pages

A Marriage of Convenience

ByKsenia Klimova

chapter |20 pages

Cabiria from the Bypass

ByMarina Palei

chapter |29 pages

Kozlov's Nights

ByYekaterina Sadur