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Women with a Thirst for Destruction: The Bad Mother in Russian Culture
by Jenny Kaminer
Northwestern University Press, 2014
Paper: 978-0-8101-3330-3 | eISBN: 978-0-8101-6744-5 | Cloth: 978-0-8101-2946-7
Library of Congress Classification PG3096.M68K36 2014
Dewey Decimal Classification 891.7093520852

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
Winner, 2014 AWSS Best Book in Slavic/East European/Eurasian Women's Studies

In Russian culture, the archetypal mother is noble and self-sacrificing. In Women with a Thirst for Destruction, however, Jenny Kaminer shows how this image is destabilized during periods of dramatic rupture in Russian society, examining in detail the aftermath of three key moments in the country’s history: the emancipation of the serfs in 1861, the Russian Revolution of 1917, and the fall of the Communist regime in 1991. She explores works both familiar and relatively unexamined: Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin’s The Golovlev Family, Fyodor Gladkov’s Cement, and Liudmila Petrushevskaia’s The Time: Night, as well as a late Soviet film (Vyacheslav Krishtofovichs Adam’s Rib, 1990) and media coverage of the Chechen conflict. Kaminer’s book speaks broadly to the mutability of seemingly established cultural norms in the face of political and social upheaval.

 

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