by Rachel C., February 11, 2010 5:04 PM
Regarded as one of Russia's most talented contemporary writers, Petrushevskaya's collection of vignettes is far beyond the macabre, with characters who desperately cling to the past while living discreetly painful lives. Their souls dangle on the precipice of vacancy, and an unwavering sadness consumes them. The worlds of life and those of death are often blurred, while giving no time or place in which the stories occur. Given all of that, I find much comfort in these tales, as many of them point to a central theme in life: that nothing is as it seems.