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There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories

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There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories Cover

ISBN13: 9780143121527
ISBN10: 0143121529
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Love stories, with a twist: the eagerly awaited follow-up to the great Russian writer’s New York Times bestselling scary fairy tales.

By turns sly and sweet, burlesque and heartbreaking, these realist fables of women looking for love are the stories that Ludmilla Petrushevskaya — who has been compared to Chekhov, Tolstoy, Beckett, Poe, Angela Carter, and even Stephen King — is 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.

Review:

"Full of meaningful, finely crafted detail, this story collection set in Russia manages to tackle the grimmest of situations head-on with compassion and a great deal of warmth. In 'Two Deities' a one-night stand between a woman in her mid-30s and a man of 20 results in pregnancy and the decision to raise the child together. The troubled 'Alibaba' sells her mother's rare books to get money for drinks and longs to find a man who doesn't live with his mother or wife, so that she might stay the night. In 'Tamara's Baby' a man named 'A.A.' who makes life miserable for his friends by always dropping by unannounced finds contentment with an older woman he meets at a health resort for the indigent. Dasha, in 'The Impulse,' shaves her head and ignores her son, who subsists on a diet of ice cream and frozen pizza, because of the stress of her relationship with a married man. The author does a wonderful job evoking the world of shared apartments and heavy drinking, where to get from a village to the capital 'one had to ride the train for seven days, then a bus for thirty-six hours, then another bus, which sometimes didn't run, for seven more.' 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 Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Deeply unromantic love stories told frankly, with an elasticity and economy of language...dark, fatalistic humor and bone-deep irony." The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"This gem's exquisite conjugation of doom and disconnect is so depressingly convincing that I laughed out loud....On par with the work of such horror maestros as Edgar Allan Poe." Elle

Review:

"Petrushevskaya writes instant classics....These, as the title proclaims, are love stories, scored to a totalitarian track that makes the mystery of love ever more murky." The Daily Beast

Review:

"Combines the brevity of Lydia Davis with the familial strangleholds of Chekhov. They're short and brutal, but often elegant in their economy." The Onion A.V. Club

Review:

"Heartbreaking, but...also beautiful and touching in describing how, if not love, at least companionship, can save the most lost souls." The Rumpus

Review:

"Think Chekhov writing from a female perspective....Petrushevskaya's short stories transform the mundane into the near surreal, pausing only to wink at the absurdity of it all." Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Tim Lewis, January 28, 2013 (view all comments by Tim Lewis)
There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband, and He Hanged Himself brings to light the lives of everyday people living in misery under the oppressive Soviet Union. The stories illuminate our interconnectedness and what it really means to be human. We each have, on some level, a desire for love, acceptance, and self-worth that can only be fostered through relationships with other people. Through these characters, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya makes us see other people with more sensitive eyes and with the realization that each of us has our own story to tell. Give this collection of dark short love stories a chance and you might just find yourself appreciating the loved ones you have even more.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780143121527
Subtitle:
Love Stories
Author:
Petrushevskaya, Ludmilla
Translator:
Summers, Anna
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Folklore
Subject:
Romance - Suspense
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20090929
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
7.82 x 5.26 x 0.6 in 0.39 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
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Fiction and Poetry » Romance » Suspense

There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister's Husband, and He Hanged Himself: Love Stories Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143121527 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Full of meaningful, finely crafted detail, this story collection set in Russia manages to tackle the grimmest of situations head-on with compassion and a great deal of warmth. In 'Two Deities' a one-night stand between a woman in her mid-30s and a man of 20 results in pregnancy and the decision to raise the child together. The troubled 'Alibaba' sells her mother's rare books to get money for drinks and longs to find a man who doesn't live with his mother or wife, so that she might stay the night. In 'Tamara's Baby' a man named 'A.A.' who makes life miserable for his friends by always dropping by unannounced finds contentment with an older woman he meets at a health resort for the indigent. Dasha, in 'The Impulse,' shaves her head and ignores her son, who subsists on a diet of ice cream and frozen pizza, because of the stress of her relationship with a married man. The author does a wonderful job evoking the world of shared apartments and heavy drinking, where to get from a village to the capital 'one had to ride the train for seven days, then a bus for thirty-six hours, then another bus, which sometimes didn't run, for seven more.' 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 Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Deeply unromantic love stories told frankly, with an elasticity and economy of language...dark, fatalistic humor and bone-deep irony."
"Review" by , "This gem's exquisite conjugation of doom and disconnect is so depressingly convincing that I laughed out loud....On par with the work of such horror maestros as Edgar Allan Poe."
"Review" by , "Petrushevskaya writes instant classics....These, as the title proclaims, are love stories, scored to a totalitarian track that makes the mystery of love ever more murky."
"Review" by , "Combines the brevity of Lydia Davis with the familial strangleholds of Chekhov. They're short and brutal, but often elegant in their economy."
"Review" by , "Heartbreaking, but...also beautiful and touching in describing how, if not love, at least companionship, can save the most lost souls."
"Review" by , "Think Chekhov writing from a female perspective....Petrushevskaya's short stories transform the mundane into the near surreal, pausing only to wink at the absurdity of it all."
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