Time: Night

Overview


First published in Russia in 1992, The Time: Night is a darkly humorous depiction of the Soviet utopia's underbelly by one of the most brilliant stylists in contemporary Russian literature. Anna Andrianova is a trite poet and disastrous parent. Heading a household dominated by women, she can cling to the myth of the all-powerful yet suffering Russian matriarch. Challenging that myth is her headstrong daughter Alyona, a woman with appalling ...
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Overview


First published in Russia in 1992, The Time: Night is a darkly humorous depiction of the Soviet utopia's underbelly by one of the most brilliant stylists in contemporary Russian literature. Anna Andrianova is a trite poet and disastrous parent. Heading a household dominated by women, she can cling to the myth of the all-powerful yet suffering Russian matriarch. Challenging that myth is her headstrong daughter Alyona, a woman with appalling judgment and several illegitimate children, who both needs Anna and hates her.

Presented in the form of scribbled notes written by one Anna Andrianovna in the solitary, desolate, and consoling hours of the night, this extraordinarily intense novel juxtaposes Anna's dreams and despair with startling wit and sublety, resulting in a revelation of modern Russian life that offers a brilliant illumination of the knot of love and fury that binds a family together.

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Editorial Reviews

Lesley Chamberlain
The writing is beautifully controlled and the spirit large .... She deserves a wide readership.
—(Times Literary Supplement)
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Since she appeared on the Russian literary scene in the 1970s, Petrushevskaya has produced a steady outpouring of short stories and plays; today, she is generally considered to be one of the finest living Russian writers. This novel, the first of her works to appear in America, portrays the gritty, day-to-day life of ordinary Russians. The loosely structured narrative consists of a manuscript written by the now deceased Anna Andrianovna, a minor poet, interspersed with diary entries by Anna's feckless daughter, Alyona. Anna is desperately trying to hold on to her small apartment in Moscow while fending off the relentless demands of her two grown children and their families. Andrei, her son, is a petty crook recently released from prison; out of work and unable to free himself from a bad crowd, he constantly hits up his mother for money and threatens to move back home. Meanwhile, Alyona, who has a knack for involving herself with unsuitable men and getting pregnant, alternates between living at home and, after dumping her children with Anna, simply disappearing. And then there's Anna's senile mother, who clearly belongs in an institution. Petrushevskaya focuses on Anna's increasingly desperate situation and her conflicted feelings about her role as a mother, a daughter, a woman and a poet. While the facts of the story are relentlessly depressing, the author's signature black humor and matter-of-fact prose result in an insightful and sympathetic portrait of a family in crisis. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Awakened in the middle of the night, Soviet poet Anna Andrianovna pours out her grief in scribbled notes at the kitchen table. Anna is a women on the edge, a mother and grandmother scraping out a miserable existence in Moscow as she struggles to provide food and shelter for her extended family, most of whom abuse her kindness, ignore her advice, and shrink from her gestures of love. Anna's story moves at a breathless pace, becoming nearly incoherent as dawn approaches. The book's strength lies in Anna's character and the terrible irony with which she describes her daily life and frustrating attempts to understand the people she loves, with so little hope of reciprocation. This wry American debut, shortlisted for the Russian Booker Prize, is highly recommended for all fiction collections.-Sister M. Anna Falbo, Villa Maria Coll. Lib., Buffalo, N.Y.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810118003
  • Publisher: Northwestern University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Series: Fiction/Women's Studies Series
  • Edition description: Translated
  • Pages: 155
  • Sales rank: 272,054
  • Product dimensions: 4.38 (w) x 7.25 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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