The Women's Decameron

Iuliia Voznesenskaia, Author Grove/Atlantic $18.95 (302p) ISBN 978-0-87113-101-0
Ten women in a Leningrad maternity ward regale each other for 10 days with tales and anecdotes ranging from the pungent to the raunchy, with a few tear-jerkers sprinkled between. Zina the tramp, Olga the shipyard worker, and Larissa the doctor of biology compete amicably with Albina the Aeroflot hostess, a wry expert on sexual mores whose motto is to dress on credit and undress for cash, and party functionary Valentina, who unbends considerably when she tells how she tangled a would-be rapist in her mitten-strings. The topics cover the ruses and revenges, together with acts of generosity, that loveand lustinspire. In her first novel, literate dissident Voznesenskaya candidly unfolds a brillant spectrum of Soviet daily life in labor camps (where she spent time), country dachas, and urban dormitories. Readers will find her accounts eye-opening while succumbing to their salty, jaundiced charm. (October 6)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
Genre: Fiction
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