There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbour's Baby: Scary Fairy Tales (Penguin Modern Classics)

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9780718192075: There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbour's Baby: Scary Fairy Tales (Penguin Modern Classics)

A woman finds herself filling a pit in the forest in the middle of the night; a family lock each other in their bedrooms to battle a strange plague; a wizard punishes two beautiful ballerinas by turning them into one hugely fat circus performer; a colonel is warned not to lift the veil from his dead wife's face; and a distraught father brings his daughter back to life by eating human hearts in his dreams. In these blackly comic tales of revenge, disturbing deaths and haunting melancholy, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya blends miracles and madness in the darkest of modern fairy tales.

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About the Author:

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya was born in Moscow in 1938 and is the only indisputable canonical writer currently writing in Russian today. She is the author of more than fifteen collections of prose, among them the short novel The Time: Night, shortlisted for the Russian Booker Prize in 1992, and Svoi Krug, a modern classic about the 1980's Soviet intelligentsia. Petrushevskaya is equally important as a playwright: since the 1980s her numerous plays have been staged by the best Russian theater companies. In 2002, Petrushevskaya received Russia's most prestigious prize, The Triumph, for lifetime achievement. She lives in Moscow.

Review:

'Gave me nightmares ... These stories work the boundary states of consciousness like a tongue works an aching tooth' * Elle * 'A revelation - like reading late-Tolstoy fables set in an alternative reality' * New Yorker * this short and rather extraordinary book of "Scary Fairy Tales" [...] succeed - in many cases quite hauntingly. -- Theo Tate * Sunday Times * An entrancing collection of tales, as humane and unsentimental as Chekhov, as grim and funny as Beckett, as dark and unsettling as Poe. -- Brandon Robshaw * Independent on Sunday * Penguin has given this book instant promotion to 'modern classic' status and it's easy to see why. It is an extraordinary collection of jet-black tales by one of Russian's foremost writers, which has understandably inspired comparisons with Tolstoy. Beat that. * Daily Mail *

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