Friday, August 27, 2010

There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales

Written By: Ludmilla Petrushevskaya

First line: During the war, a colonel received a letter from his wife.

Why you should read this book: The scary fairy tales of this anthology are overcast, rather than dark, existing in a landscape that mirrors the shadowy reality of Soviet Russia, with its dearth, privation, and fear, but through which a single beam of hopeful sunlight may pierce. Through the collection, ghosts of dead loved ones appear in unexpected forms or places to offer succor to the living or easy passage to the next world, while soldiers and mothers struggle through confusing foreign regions that do not quite match up with their understanding of the shape of the universe. There is much beauty to be found in the gritty unreality and the bright passion of love that run through this translated collection.

Why you shouldn’t read this book: You suspect your neighbor has been trying to kill your baby.

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