Synopses & Reviews
Though published a decade before the Bolshevik Revolution, The Tragic Menagerie
possesses a sensibility that is modern in its descriptions of a childhood of passionate affections and unsettling revelations. This fictionalized autobiography follows the tomboyish Vera, who counts among her friends bears, wolves, and a wild crane, as well as local peasant girls. Sent to a German boarding school and exiled from her kingdom, Vera turns into a demonic, disobedient student, rejecting a life she finds constraining and artificial. Only when she returns to her natural world can her deeper compassionate and imaginative self emerge.