Stories of Women

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Overview

Anton Chekhov drew inspiration for these powerful vignettes from the teeming world of nineteenth-century Russia, a time in which women were considered little more than possessions of their male masters, with nothing to call their own.

Stories of Women contains examples of Chekhov's finest work written between 1882 and 1903, including twelve stories that appear in English for the first time. This collection focuses on the plight of women - privileged and peasant - and shows Chekhov's eloquent compassion for their unenviable social position.

The evolution of women's awareness in Russia began primarily with the emancipation of the serfs by Alexander in 1861 and the granting of permission for women to attend university lectures. Before this important change in social policy, a woman's education was limited to practical domestic duties for the less well off, or finishing schools for those of the gentry. At this time, women of means began to travel abroad to schools where they were introduced to liberal ideas. Upon their return to Russia, these women began to participate in protests, which led to a reactionary movement in the 1880's and the closing of university doors to women until 1897.

Education did become a means to achieve independence, but the traditional employment of educated women remained limited. They were typists, sales clerks, librarians, elementary school teachers, governesses, and the like. Peasant women labored in the homes, fields, and factories. But women of character and breeding found ways of overcoming their second class status.

The particular stories of Chekhov that Ms. Ross has selected and carefully translated describe Russian women in all their complexity. Weak or strong, simple or complex, dominating or self-effacing, the women in these deeply moving stories determine their own destinies - carving out their own identities - in less than desirable circumstances. The powerful influences of tradition and prejudice shape the decisions of each woman and speaks to the soul of contemporary women as well.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879759018
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Series: Literary Classics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 308
  • Sales rank: 440,877
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 11
At the Cottage 15
The Pink Stocking 21
The Nincompoop 25
The Good Fortune of Being a Woman 28
The Sweetie 32
Name-Day Celebration 45
Wretchedness 79
The Long Tongue 93
Chorus Girl 97
Ninotchka 103
Life's Afflictions 108
Anna Around the Neck 123
At the Home of the Marshal's Widow 137
The Lowest of the Low 142
Mother-in-Law Solicitor 148
The Boa Constrictor and the Bunny 151
The Bride-to-Be 156
The Tale of Lady NN 176
My Wives: Letter to the Editor by Raul Blue Beard 181
From the Notes of a Hot-Tempered Man 189
The Dear Lessons 199
The Court Investigator 206
Zenochka 212
She Left 219
A Woman Without Prejudices 221
Shackled Women 226
A Case History 241
Too Late the Flowers 253
In the Hospice for the Terminally Ill and the Aged 295
He and She 300
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