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The Time of Women Hardcover – February 1, 2012


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Their [women's] story is a simple one. Aside from Antonina's ailing medical condition (she falls ill from cancer), not much happens. But it's the ordinariness of these women's daily drudgery - the endless queues for supplies, the hours boiling dirty rags, the constant cooking of potatoes and bland food - that comes vibrantly alive on the page. A scattered, stream-of-consciousness writing style takes some getting used to, especially at the beginning, and it's often difficult to keep track of which character is doing the narrating or whether a conversation is spoken or merely overheard. But persistence promises hearty rewards, including a vision of a Russian past not often revisited. For Western readers unfamiliar with Russian/Soviet history, an especially dramatic read." - KIRKUS REVIEWS "It is an earthbound and frankly emotional novel, especially in a literary scene long dominated by the cerebral trickery of postmodernism" - THE NEW YORK TIMES. "I don't cry easily, but this book firmly put a big lump in my throat. That's a long forgotten feeling for me." - SERGEY GANDLEVSKY, famous Russian writer. "As if created out of the dust and ruins of the Russian ghetos and stuck together with the same restrictions the basis of the text forms a rough and ready canvass. But look closer and the forms will become so clear that the eye doesn't register the background any longer." - RADIO LIBERTY. "There is not much mystery as to how the story will end, but the richness of both characters and atmosphere pulls the reader through a plot whose folktale motifs - ghostly brides, sleeping daughters and scheming old women - are part of a very real world of factories and dormitories haunted by war." - RUSSIA BEYOND THE HEADLINES. "Through this domestic, and essentially female, business of onion-frying, laundry rotas and petty squabbles, Chizhova tells the story of 20th Century Russia - of superstition and soviet realism, factories and folklore, belief and dissidence, rule and oppression, ignorance, hope and, of course, Russia's insatiable appetite for suffering." - MIRANDA INGRAM for TETRADKI.

About the Author

Elena Chizhova, a former economist, teacher and entrepreneur, finally turned to writing in 1996 after being rescued from a burning cruise ship. Since that time she has been consumed by the need to write, and has enjoyed considerable success as a result. Chizhova's prose shuns trickery in favour of emotional honesty in order to probe the weeping sores of Russian history that contemporary culture would sooner forget. Chizhova was born in 1957 in Leningrad, the city which provides the setting for her award-winning novel, The Time of Women, about the secret culture of resistance and remembrance amongst the mothers, grandmothers, aunts and daughters of Russia. Chizhova is the director of the local PEN centre in St. Petersburg. Awards: Russian Booker Prize 2009 Shortlist Russian Booker Prize 2003, 2005 Severnaya Palmira 2001 Award Journal Zvezda 2001.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Glagoslav Publications Ltd. (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9081823914
  • ISBN-13: 978-9081823913
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,652,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Paul E. Richardson VINE VOICE on April 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
The history of Russia and the Soviet Union in the twentieth century was more brutal, more costly, more inspirational and more redemptive than that of any other country. Yet rarely has this history been seen through the eyes of women - those who bore the children who died in the Blockade or the War, those who were left behind (sometimes) when husbands and sons were sent to camps, those who worked alongside men all day, then went home to work another shift before the stove and sink. In this Booker winning novel, Chizhova offers a slice of that history through the revealing private narratives of a few representative women whose lives are focused on the girl who will take the women's stories into a future they will not see. A powerful tale.

As reviewed in Russian Life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ariela Halkin on October 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a gem of a book. It is incredibly moving and terribly sad allowing us a glimpse behind the Iron Curtain with flashbacks to pre revolution, the war, starvation, sacrifice, the new order. All this intertwined with fantasy, traditional religious beliefs and superstitions, icons, saints and ghosts, and a little girl who is mute and can only express herself through drawing. The women who surround her are old grannies who have all suffered terrible losses. and yet devote all their energy and meager means to raise her and protect her and her unwed mother. It is beautifully written and is well worth reading.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sophie Masson on July 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Beautiful book, extraordinarily warm and vivid, with an atmosphere like no other, a dreamy combination of fairy tale and very earthy, realistic detail, about life in Soviet times from a very different point of view than we've been exposed to till now: these are very female voices, ranging from those of the three old ladies to the young mother Antonina and the child Susanna/Sofya, who will one day grow up to be an artist. Steeped in fairy-tale, history, and reminiscence with a very unusual narrative style, this is a memorable novel, though I felt the ending was a bit rushed. Still, it is very highly recommended.
One quibble--there are rather a lot of typos. Better proof-reading might be in order!
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Format: Kindle Edition
This was an interesting and engaging book to listen to. The only problem I had with it, was that the narrative hops between too many characters, without a lot of notification. It got confusing who was 'speaking' and which character we were hearing from. This was especially bad in the audio version, since the voices are similar for the characters.. Since there are a number of female characters I would've preferred less 'head hopping.'

The ending felt a bit abrupt.

My mother also read the book version, and although she enjoyed the world-building she also became confused about the characters and which one was narrating.
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