Epics of Everyday Life: Encounters in a Changing Russia

Epics of Everyday Life: Encounters in a Changing Russia

by Susan Richards

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
After extended stays in the U.S.S.R. between fall '88 and summer '90, Richards, a British film producer, here presents one of the gloomiest pictures in memory. With an obvious talent for ingratiating herself, she got herself invited to share the apartments of natives she met casually in Moscow, Baku, Novosibirk and Kiev. Conventional wisdom throughout that vast land, according to the author, decrees the problems of perestroika to be intractable, and although fears of repression are gone, ``everything else is the same'': with everybody on the fiddle, people resist reforms that threaten to topple private ``arrangements'' for supplying individual needs (``Nobody talks of buying, only procuring''). Richards recalls with affection those who welcomed her into their homes, while presenting herself here as a sometimes difficult houseguest who often ``did not understand what was going on.'' And although she has much of interest to say, so tiresomely does she intrude herself into the tale that few readers are likely to be as indulgent of her as her hosts were. (May)
Library Journal - Library Journal
Richards, a British filmmaker and scholar of Russian literature, set out to discover Russia (between 1988 and 1990) without the backing of a news organization or prearranged contracts with the elite. The result: an unusually thoughtful glimpse at the substance of life in such diverse locales as Dagestan, Baku, and Novosibirsk, presented in a likable, well-written narrative. While covering much of the same ground traversed in Francine du Plessix Gray's Soviet Women: Walking the Tightrope ( LJ 2/15/90), this less elite-oriented book takes a harder look at people living on the edge: farmers trying to break out of the collective; Old Believers trying to worship; unofficial actors trying to put on their shows. For informed readers.-- Robert Decker, Los Angeles

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st American ed
Product dimensions:
1.00(w) x 1.00(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

SUSAN RICHARDS has a BA in English from the University of Colorado and a master's in social work from Adelphi University. She lives with her husband, Dennis Stock, and their beloved gang of four dogs and one Siamese cat. She is the author of the best-selling memoir Chosen by a Horse.

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