Reviews - The Time Of Women by Elena Chizhova

Go to content

Main menu:

Reviews


“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


“Most of these stalwart devotees are women, which is another major sign of the times. One of the most popular novels to be published in the past two years bore the symbolic title The Time of Women, and its author, the St Petersburg university professor Elena Chizhova, was catapulted to fame by winning the Russian Booker prize in 2009”.
THE TELEGRAPH


“Yet like other contemporary Russian texts - Viktor Pelevin's works come to mind
The Time of Women constantly references political events, but is far from a political novel. The regime is oppressive, but so is life itself. Antonina is an abandoned single mother who gets sick with cancer; Suzanna is mute; the grandmothers are old and unwell. One of the primary questions the book addresses is how it is possible to resist oppression in any form and at the same time retain one's humanity.  Chizhova's novel suggests that such resistance is possible”.
LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS


“You might choose to read The Time of Women because it won the Russian Booker Prize or because it was written in contemporary Russia or because it is about three generations of women finding ways to survive by supporting one another in a rather bleak world. But my recommendation would be that you read it to grapple with Chizhova's jarring and challenging narrative and rhetorical style. And also because her struggling and verbally inhibited characters are not representative only of Russia's tragic history but stand, also, for certain aspects of our common humanity and certain aspects of the lives even of those of us in the relatively untroubled and pampered West”.
PAUL MONK/THE AUSTRALIAN

"It is a richly detailed world of superstition and suspicion, in which the local agents of state power exercise a stifling and often arbitrarily applied control over individual citizens' lives".
THE WEST AUSTRALIAN


“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 BEYOUND THE HEADLINES


“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”.
RUSSIAN LIFE MAGAZINE


“In Chizhova
s depiction, in contrast, the outside world is cruel or indifferent at best, but at home her heroines are warm, honest, and deeply care about one another. And it is probably this as well as the poignant evocation of 1960s Soviet life which makes it such a good read”.
MIRIAM DOBSON, PhD. Lecturer in Modern  History at the University of Sheffield/ RUSSIAN HISTORY BLOG

"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/ TETRADKI


"In Women
s Time Elena Chizhova doesnt try to write a bestseller. She doesnt try to please all her readers either. But what she does do here is try to take on silence and hush-ups and secrets and examine the oppressive, insidious effects they can have on a few discreet lives. She does it. Frustratingly. Annoyingly. But in the end, successfully".
BEARS&VODKA


“It is fascinating to learn about other cultures. It's all told from a female perspective. You can feel Antonina's uncertainty about her life. She wants a better life, but is afraid to form one away from her surrogate mothers. Despite not being mute, Suzanna has an obvious curiosity about life.”
AS I TURN THE PAGES

“The Time of Women is a fascinating look at Soviet society.”
I PREFER READING

Other publications about The Time of Women:


THE MOSCOW NEWS


THE ST. PETERSBURG TIMES


LA RUSSOPHOBE BLOG


The Time of Women: An Emotional Journey/ EYES IN MAGAZINE


ORTHODOX SCOTLAND BLOG


ACTIVE ADULT MAGAZINE


About Elena Chizhova
:

Who is Who in Russias new writing talent/ THE TELEGRAPH


Elena Chizhova’s interview for BEAUTY AND LACE MAGAZINE

AND OTHER STORIES


PUSHKIN HOUSE


A CELEBRATION OF WOMEN FOUNDATION


Radio interviews with Elena Chizhova:


BOOKS & ARTS DAILY/ ABC RADIO NATIONAL AUSTRALIA

VOICE OF RUSSIA

About The Time of Women play based on Elena Chizhova
s novel:

THE MOSCOW TIMES


PASSPORT MAGAZINE

Russia
s media publications:

“This book is for everyone familiar with a keen sense of memory. For those whose hearts ache and bleed, while remembering their deceased grandparents. Together with them, not only your family history passes away, but also the history of the country”.

MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS

"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 SVOBODA  (RADIO LIBERTY)


"I don
t cry easily, but this book firmly put a big lump in my throat. Thats a long forgotten feeling for me".
SERGEY GANDLEVSKY - famous Russian writer



 
Back to content | Back to main menu