From Russia With Love

RussiaNo, There Once Was a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya is not a novel about James Bond.  What it is, is a collection of short stories by a famous Russian female writer.

It’s been a long time since I read any work by a Russian author and this depressing book reminded me why I avoid them.  I think the title of this book provides enough of hint of what the reader can expect to find within.  Told from a female perspective, the stories are wrought with hardship, loss, and struggle.  As one might expect, there are few happy endings celebrated here.  This is a collection of gut wrenching stories where love is as scarce as private living quarters, new clothing, and nutritious food.  Adulterous relationships, alcoholism, and unplanned pregnancies abound in this book.

I applaud the translator Anna Summers for bringing this work to light.  Petrushevskaya is a powerful  writer who provides an illuminating look inside a culture long hidden behind an iron curtain of silence.

About dianeledet

Professional Writing Consultant, Graduate of DePaul University School for New Learning 2008
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2 Responses to From Russia With Love

  1. BeingZhenya says:

    I read the “There once was a woman who tried to kill her neighbors baby”, read it in 2 days, couldn’t put it down, then had nightmares for the next few nights… why did i ever do it? I also requested this book after reading your post!

    • dianeledet says:

      This is a short book as well. I hope it will not cause you further nightmares! I can see where this author’s work could have that effect though! Thanks for your comment!

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