Literary and Cultural Exchanges Between (Ex)Soviet and American Women


Book Pages: 440 Illustrations: Published: December 1993

Gender and Sexuality > Feminism and Women’s Studies, Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Criticism

Co-authored by Russian, Ukrainian, and American critics, Dialogues/Dialogi is the first fully collaborative and comparative study of American and (ex)Soviet women writers. Truly a dialogue, the book juxtaposes fiction by American and Soviet women from the 1960s to the present to reveal their similarities and differences and to show how questions of gender, race, and ethnicity are enacted in the societies and psyches each text represents. Begun in the early days of glasnost and completed in 1992, the book conveys the spirit and excitement of an unprecedented critical conversation conducted during a time of historic transformation.
Dialogues/Dialogi pairs stories by Tillie Olsen, Toni Cade Bambara, Jayne Anne Phillips, and Leslie Marmon Silko (reprinted here in full) with Russian stories by I. Grekova, Liudmila Petrushevskaya, Elena Makarova, and Anna Nerkagi, many of them appearing here for the first time in English. Exquisite in their stylistic and thematic variety, suggestive of the range of women's experience and fiction in both countries, each story is the subject of paired interpretive essays by an American and an (ex)Soviet critic from among the book's authors.
A colloquy of diverse voices speaking together in multiple, mutually illuminating exchanges, Dialogues/Dialogi testifies to the possibility of evolving relationships among women across borders once considered impassable.


Dialogues/Dialogi is an academic book with heart, spirit, and creativity. Moreover, it aids in filling a vacuum that exists in comparative women’s literature and in translated Russian women’s literature.” — Bonnie Marshall , World Literature Today

“This volume of women-authored writing and criticism, produced during the period of glasnost, represents an innovative structure for comparative studies of Soviet and American literature. . . . Simply by jutxtaposing texts by American and Soviet writers of such diversity, this work represents a substantial contribution to comparative studies, creating unintended dialogues among the writers.” — Christine D. Tomei, Slavic and East European Journal

"[This] book is pioneering. It is original and intellectually enterprising." — Catharine R. Stimpson, Rutgers University

"Culture has always been aware of borders; but the reader of this comparative source-book and study of women writers American and ex-Soviet will experience the transcending of borders. As cross-disciplinary studies gain ground in our universities, this may well become a landmark book." — Barbara Heldt, University of British Columbia


Availability: In stock
Price: $30.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Susan Hardy Aiken is Professor of English at the University of Arizona.

Adele Barker is Associate Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Maya Koreneva is a scholar at the A. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature in Moscow.

Ekaterina Stetsenko is a scholar at the A. M. Gorky Institute of World Literature in Moscow.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments ix

Preface xiii

Notes on Transliteration and Editing xix

Beginnings 1


1. Ladies Hairdresser / Grekova 43

Tell me a Riddle / Tillie Olsen 88

Stages of Dissent: Olsen, Grekova, and the Politics of Creativity / Susan Hardy Aiken 120

Revolutions from Within / Ekaterina Stetsenko 141

Dialogue 158


Witchbird / Toni Cade Bambara 163

That Kind of Girl / Liudmila Petrushevskaia 178

Children of the Sixties / Maya Koreneva 191

Telling the Other('s) Story, or, the Blues in Two languages / Susan Hardy Aiken 206

Dialogue 224


Home / Jayne Anne Phillips 229

Needlefish / Elena Makarova 242

The World of Our Mothers / Adele Marie Barker 253

Hopes and Nightmares of the Young / Maya Koreneva 266

Dialogue 279


Aniko of the Nogo Tribe / Anna Nerkagi 285

Storyteller / Leslie Marmon SIlko 312

Retelling the Legends / Ekaterino Stetsenko 327

Crossings / Adele Marie Barker 340

Dialogue 354

Afterword: Histories and Fictions 357

Selected Bibliography 393

Index 409

Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-0-8223-1390-8 / Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1375-5
Publicity material