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The Wives: The Women Behind Russian Literary Giants

Overview

Muses and editors, saviors and publishers: the women behind the greatest works in Russian literature.A Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year Many readers are aware that writers such as Fitzgerald, Joyce, and Lawrence used their marriages for literary inspiration. In Russian literary marriages these women did not resent taking a secondary position, although to call their position secondary underscores the vital role these women played in the creation of some of the greatest literary works in history. From ...

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Overview

Muses and editors, saviors and publishers: the women behind the greatest works in Russian literature.A Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year Many readers are aware that writers such as Fitzgerald, Joyce, and Lawrence used their marriages for literary inspiration. In Russian literary marriages these women did not resent taking a secondary position, although to call their position secondary underscores the vital role these women played in the creation of some of the greatest literary works in history. From Sofia Tolstoy to Vera Nabokov and Elena Mandelshtam and Natalya Solzhenitsyn, these women ranged from stenographers and typists to editors, researchers, translators, and even publishers. Living under restrictive regimes, many of these women battled censorship and preserved the writers’ illicit archives, often risking their own lives to do so. They established a tradition all their own, unmatched in the West.

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Editorial Reviews

The Wall Street Journal
“The Wives invites us to perceive both symmetries and incongruities among the couples and reveals distinctions between the czarist and Soviet periods. This collection about the companions of great Russian authors buzzes with both literary insight and gossipy intrigue, exploring the wives' relationships not just with their husbands but also with their husbands' books.”
The Washington Post
“Popoff’s extensive research provides insight into the dynamic, albeit complex, relationships between these devoted women and the authors. Through their ingenuity, self-sacrifice and courage, their husbands’
works were able to see the light of day, and the world was enriched by their publication.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605985046
  • Publisher: Pegasus
  • Publication date: 10/10/2013
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,391,253
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alexandra Popoff is the author of the award-winning biography
Sophia Tolstoy: A Biography and ​The Wives: The Women Behind Russia's Literary Giants, a ​Wall Street Journal "Best Book of the Year." ​​She has written for Russian national newspapers and magazines in Moscow and, as an
Alfred Friendly Press Fellow, published articles in The Philadelphia Inquirer and its Sunday magazine. She has also contributed to The Huffington Post and The Boston Globe. Popoff lives in Canada where she obtained post-graduate degrees in Russian and English literature.

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