The Prose of Life
Russian Women Writers from Khrushchev to Putin
Publication Year: 2009
A focus on the representation of everyday life in women’s prose reveals that a first generation of female writers (Natal’ia Baranskaia, Irina Grekova) both legitimated and limited their successors (Liudmila Petrushevskaia, Tat’iana Tolstaia, Liudmila Ulitskaia, and Svetlana Vasilenko) in their choice of literary topics. The Prose of Life traces the development, and intriguing ruptures, of recent Russian women’s prose, becoming a must-read for readers interested in Russian literature and gender studies.
2009 Outstanding Academic Title, Choice Magazine
Published by: University of Wisconsin Press
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Introduction: Engendering Byt in Soviet Culture
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In 1962, during Nikita Khrushchev's tentative Thaw reforms, two authors sent their manuscripts to Aleksandr Tvardovskii, the daring editor of the liberal journal Novyi mir.1 One had written a scathing fictional depiction of dictator Joseph Stalinââ¬â¢s prison system; the other had penned a...
1. Documenting Women's Byt during the Thaw and Stagnation: Natal'ia Baranskaia and I. Grekova
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In 1966 the deputy director of the Pushkin Memorial Museum in Moscow abruptly retired after officials criticized her for inviting dissident poet Joseph Brodsky to an exhibit featuring the photographs of the poet Anna Akhmatova and her family, all of whom had suffered under Stalin.1 ...
2. Perestroika and the Emergence of Women's Prose: Liudmila Petrushevskaia, Tat'iana Tolstaia, and Women's Anthologies
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On a rainy Moscow afternoon in May 1988 author Svetlana Vasilenko happened to meet Larisa Vaneeva, another prose writer. As the two women talked, they compared their livesa series of menial jobs, no opportunities for publishingand realized they knew many women writers who...
3. The Artistry of Everyday Life: Liudmila Ulitskaia, Svetlana Vasilenko, and Post-Soviet Women's Anthologies
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During the Brezhnev years one of the young workers in a Moscow genetics laboratory was discovered reading and retyping underground literature. Fearful that the entire lab would be closed, her superiors fired her, citing the need for a reduction in staff. The woman, who had...
Conclusion: Cultural Divides and the Future of Women's Prose
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Women's writing after Stalinism coalesced around the quotidian, first moving from select illustration to broadened critique and then acceptance of the everyday as an artistic resource valuable in its own right. Emphases on documenting byt and, by extension, gender combined...
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Index [Includes Back Cover]
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Page Count: 211
Publication Year: 2009