Russia Beyond’s list of 12 must-read contemporary women writers

In anticipation of a Punctured Lines list of notable women writers in translation from Russian, here’s a list by Alexandra Guzeva, published on Russia Beyond* last October. It’s a good list in that it includes many of the women writers who have risen to prominence in the contemporary Russian literary circles. All of these writers have been translated to English, so their work is easily found online or in your local library.

To be a little nit-picky about this list, I do want to argue with the idea that “Russian literature in the 19th and early 20th centuries was an almost exclusively male preserve.” There were plenty of women participating in Russian literature in 19th and early 20th centuries. If it appears to be “an almost exclusively male preserve,” it’s a problem with the way women’s contributions to literature are remembered. We’ve created Punctured Lines blog precisely because we need to work on this perception.

One more nit-picky comment. Calling women “weaker” sex just doesn’t work in 21st century (if it ever did!). Quotation marks don’t help.

https://www.rbth.com/arts/331180-contemporary-russian-women-writers

*) Russia Beyond is a multilingual publication owned by the Rossiya Segodnya, a Russian government state news agency

2 thoughts on “Russia Beyond’s list of 12 must-read contemporary women writers

  1. Be nitpicky! That terminology is so dated! But I’m happy to have more names to explore, particularly if they’re available in English. The trouble I find with a lot of the women writer’s from Russia’s past is that we don’t have access to them in translation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. I think the current group of translators working from Russian is super interested in translating women’s work, but they are facing a number of institutional problems (for instance, women writers in Russia rarely win any national prizes)

      Liked by 1 person

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