Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

Do you know who Ludmilla Petrushevskaya is? If you do, you know more than I did, until I read William Deresiewicz's 3/24/14 article, "Dread and Wonder," in The Nation magazine. He says that she has won many major awards, is Russia's leading dramatist, and is widely thought to be "its leading author of fiction, the mother of contemporary women's writing in the country." He even speculates that she may at some point be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. I am somewhat chagrined to know nothing of this clearly important writer. Reading about her reminds me of how, in some ways, provincial my reading is. Although I do read widely, I mostly read contemporary American and British novels, with only a smattering of fiction from other countries, sometimes translated. I have read many of the classics from around the world, such as the Russian writers Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, etc., and the French writers Balzac, Zola, Flaubert, Proust, and Colette, to name a few, but most of these I read a long time ago, in some cases as long ago as college and grad school. The Nation article about this prominent Russian writer, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, has nudged me to resolve to read more contemporary fiction from more countries, including translations from a variety of languages.

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