Sonechka: A Novella and Stories

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Sonechka by Ulitskaya, Ludmila

He even risked performing illegal abortions at a time when it was prohibited. This great novel is a look at three generations of Soviet Muscovites, and it ponders the big issues of life and death. Read more about the book in our review.


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Based on a true story, this novel takes place during the Nazi occupation. Ulitskaya describes the incredible life of a Polish Jew, Daniel Stein, who helps other Jews escape from the ghetto, and then escapes himself.

Read more about the novel in our review. The novel is framed by the period between the deaths of two Josephs: Stalin and Brodsky Ulitskaya structured this novel as a patchwork of episodes that at first glance seem unrelated.


  1. 1992 short stories.
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  4. Later, we see that the characters in different parts of the book somehow meet: walk by each other or read the same book, but at a different time. In the early s, an artist, Alik, is dying from cancer, and he hears the news about the coup in Moscow, and starts remembering the old days when he lived in the Soviet Union. The process of dying, which should be dramatically sad, turns into a party. Alik is visited by his ex-lovers, Jewish friends, the local Orthodox priest and an incredibly motley group. In the end, it seems that his life is not ending, but burns on with a new energy.

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    Russian writers are masters in discussing the big questions of human existence. So if you are looking for answers, take a look at these 8 books to help you find the meaning of life. If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material. This website uses cookies.

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    Click here to find out more. Feb 21 If you want to learn more about great contemporary Russian literature, read these stories.


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    7. The exquisite prose will open a whole new literary horizon. This is an epic novel, by a profoundly thoughtful writer.

      Sonechka : A Novella and Stories by Ludmila Ulitskaya (2005, Hardcover)

      It moves through Poland, Russia, Belorussia, Germany, America, Palestine, Israel, and the Vatican, so that in purely technical terms there were a lot of names and titles to be checked, a lot of scriptural quotations to be located and names of religious festivals to get right, but otherwise Ludmila writes elegant classical Russian prose which is a joy to translate. I hope the English-speaking world will find it as fascinating as it has proved to Russians and many other nationalities. An assortment of excerpts and stories in English and other languages, is available on the Elkost literary agency Web site.

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      Ludmila Ulitskaya.