Arts & Entertainment

Exploring the Post-Soviet Novel

Ludmila Ulitskaya

Lovers of Russian novels know Tolstoy and Dostoevsky from the nineteenth century, and Pasternak and Solzhenitsyn from the twentieth, but what have Russian writers produced since the fall of Communism in 1991?

In a series of lectures at the Art Gallery in October and November, Irina Dunn will introduce you to exciting new Russian novelists whose work is available in English translation. She will pair each new writer with one familiar to Australian readers. Thus, in her first lecture, she will pair Tolstoy, the author of Anna Karenina and War and Peace, with his great-grandniece Tatiana Tolstoya, who follows in her uncle’s footsteps in being a major author and also a stringent critic of her society.

Other lectures will cover:

  • Crime Russian Style, pairing Dostoevsky with bestselling writer Boris Akunin.
  • The Russian Epic Novel, linking the author of Dr Zhivago with Vasily Aksyonov.
  • The Russian Short Story, linking Chekhov with two of Russia’s best short story authors, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya and Ludmila Ulitskaya.
  • The Satiric Voice in Russian Fiction, in which Mikhail Bulgakov (The Master and Margarita) is linked with rebel writer Victor Pelevin.

The writers Irina has selected for these lectures represent some of the best in post-Soviet writing. Although they each bring their unique style and subject matter to their fiction, what unites them is an intense love of language and its power to challenge accepted ideas, to move the spirit, and to open the imagination to new possibilities of human existence.

Until Nov 25. Art Gallery NSW, Art Gallery Rd, Sydney. Single Sessions: $35-$45, Full Series: $290-$400. Tickets & Info:



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