This anthology illustrates the evolution of Russian women’s writing over the 20th century. Women produced literary texts as early as the Middle Ages, but it was only in the 1900s that women authors finally made a notable breakthrough on the Russian literary scene. Despite a brilliant start further development of women’s writing in Russia was crudely interrupted by Soviet censorship and only resumed after the downfall of the USSR. Whereas critics unanimously recognise the greatness of such literary stars as Anna Akhmatova and Marina Tsvetayeva, opinions differ about other celebrities of the time such as Teffi and Lydia Ginzburg who reached wide readerships only in the 1990s, when most of the formerly banned books were published.
Mid-century, women were almost invisible in Russian literature, but they were still writing, including such world-famous authors as Ludmila Ulitskaya, Galina Scherbakova, and Svetlana Alexiyevich. In the latter decades women were increasingly dominating publishing programmes and are represented here by Olga Slavnikova, Ludmila Ulitskaya, Irina Muravyova, and Margarita Khemlin.