The Women's Decameron
Author: Julia Voznesenskaya
Release Date: February 25, 1986
Like Boccacio's famous Florentines, Julia Voznesenskaya's Russian women are cunning and savvy—about all facets of the Soviet system. They know how to beat it and how to endure. Quarantined in a Leningrad maternity ward after giving birth, ten women from all walks of Soviet life amuse themselves by telling stories—stories that provide an astonishingly intimate and dramatic insight into the lives of Russia today.
The women recount one hundred stories—one story told each day by each of the ten women for ten days—on such themes as love, jealousy, infidelity, seduction, farcical sex, money, revenge, and finally, happiness. Beneath their gossip runs the stark reality of a society torn apart by suicide, divorce, and alcoholism; by the difficulties of finding food and a place to live; by the threat of harrowing imprisonment. Voznesenskaya writes vividly about everyday Soviet life as well as politics, and her revealing book conveys a passionate belief in the spiritual strength of the Russian woman, to which readers everywhere will respond with sympathy and shocks of recognition.