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There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, And He Hanged Himself: Love Stories (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 31 Jan 2013

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (31 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141198583
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141198583
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 264,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

One of Russia's best living writers ... her tales inhabit a borderline between this world and the next (The New York Times)

Petrushevskaya proves that the literary tradition that produced Dostoyevsky, Gogol and Babel is alive and well (The Daily Beast)

About the Author

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya was born in Moscow in 1938 and is the only indisputable canonical writer currently writing in Russian today. She is the author of more than fifteen collections of prose, among them the short novel The Time: Night, shortlisted for the Russian Booker Prize in 1992, and Svoi Krug, a modern classic about the 1980's Soviet intelligentsia. Petrushevskaya is equally important as a playwright: since the 1980s her numerous plays have been staged by the best Russian theater companies. In 2002, Petrushevskaya received Russia's most prestigious prize, The Triumph, for lifetime achievement. She lives in Moscow.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By lyra on 4 Nov. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I want to say I love this collection of soviet short stories, but I would be lying. It is engaging, and curious and often uncomfortable reading. As a snapshot of Soviet society during the post war era it is a interesting but also very bleak. I understand that Petrushevskaya's short stories were suppressed for many years as her portrayal of society was not flattering of social or economic policies. Though politics are never directly referenced, it is nevertheless a collection that is hugely critical of post war policies. Ultimately I felt depressed by the emptiness, desperation and futility of the relationships - nearly all of which are doomed to fail in some way or other - often as a direct result of social, economic and religious engineering. This. I suppose was the point of the collection. ...so I should really give it 4+ stars. Yet I'm struggling to do so: it's not bland which 3* would suggest - just depressingly bleak to the extent that I had to persuade myself to finish it. If you have a tendency to become despondent at the human condition avoid it. if you are interested in Soviet social policies and politics , I'd recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very clever stories. Well done. I have bought more of this writer
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
loved it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love stories of a different type... 5 Mar. 2013
By Juliette mHeggemann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although carrying the secondary title of "Love Stories", you won't find your usual romantic, flowery love stories. No, the "loves" in most of these stories are loves of convenience, loves of apathy, loves with neither party having any choice in the matter, and even some unrequited love. There are no happy endings, just endings - much like real life.

The characters in these stories treat love as just part of their day, or something that just happens, or something that is required of them.

In short, the love stories in this book are closer to real life than to fiction.

Despite the gloomy sounding description I just gave, I did enjoy the book very much. The translation was, for the most part, very well done, with just a few bits that probably just don't translate that well from the Russian.

The book is something a bit different, and perfect for those who like to have to think a bit about what they read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting into life under the Soviets 28 Feb. 2013
By Patricia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
These "love stories" all occur under Soviet rule and even though the point of the stories is not to explain that kind of life, it does give you an excellent insight into the difficulites - particularly finding a place to live. People live in tiny corners of an apartment - there is no space or privacy. When someone happens to have a good apartment, others are jealous and family attempts to take over. The plots all deal with "love stories" - people finding each other in ridiculous circumstances - married or not - and struggling to find some meaning and happiness in their desperate lives. I found it quite fascinating. I assume a lot of it is tongue-in-cheek but very insightful. It certainly gives an insight into another culture.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stories 14 Mar. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second collection of Ludmilla Petrushevskaya's stories that I've read. The title of this book should tell you everything you need to know about the author's definition of a love story: needless to say, there aren't many tales of people living happily ever after. These stories are very dark, emotional, and somewhat twisted, but the writing is so perfect and the situations so raw that you will find yourself pulled in from the very beginning, and you won't want to put the book down. I very much recommend it.
5.0 out of 5 stars byt 16 Jan. 2014
By sarcazm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
i loved the bitter truths behind this book of short stories. and the foreword, especially about byt, is not to be missed. it really sets up the reader for the rest of the book. i wish there were more stories within this book. i felt like, upon completion, i could have added some of my own love stories to the cycle. i highly recommend this book to anyone who has come to the understanding that happy endings are a fallacy, you work with the hand you're dealt in life, and that pessimism and realism are two completely different different things, though blind optimists consider them one and the same.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, and Absolutely Original 11 Jun. 2013
By Benjamin Reed - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It would be difficult for me to overstate how much I love this writer. I read her Ghost Stories book first, then put this one away to save for later. But I could only go a month or two before I devoured it. Petrushevskaya might be my favorite international short story writer since Etgar Keret.
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