by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, Anna Summers (Translator) 29 Jan 2013
Publisher: Penguin Books
By turns sly and sweet, burlesque and heartbreaking, these realist fables of women looking for love are the stories that Ludmilla Petrushevskayawho has been compared to Chekhov, Tolstoy, Beckett, Poe, Angela Carter, and even Stephen Kingis best known for in Russia.
Here are attempts at human connection, both depraved and sublime, by people across the life span: one-night stands in communal apartments, poignantly awkward couplings, office trysts, schoolgirl crushes, elopements, tentative courtships, and rampant infidelity, shot through with lurid violence, romantic illusion, and surprising tenderness. With the satirical eye of Cindy Sherman, Petrushevskaya blends macabre spectacle with transformative moments of grace and shows just why she is Russia's preeminent contemporary fiction writer.
"However cruel the characters are to each other and to themselves, the author is always fair, broadminded, and even loving toward them, making this book both supremely gritty and realistically life-affirming." - Publishers Weekly
"Think Chekhov writing from a female perspective, burnished by the ennui of a soulless collectivist state, contemplating the influence of culture and politics on love and relationships." - Kirkus Reviews
Ludmilla Petrushevskaya has published stories in the New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, and n + 1. Born in 1938, she is one of Russia's most celebrated contemporary authors. She lives in Moscow.
Anna Summers is the coeditor and co-translator of Ludmilla Petrushevskaya's There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby and the literary editor of the Baffler. Born in Moscow, she now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.