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Russian Women

Penelope Fitzgerald, 1 June 1989

On the Golden Porch 
by Tatyana Tolstaya, translated by Antonia Bouis.
Virago, 199 pp., £12.95, May 1989, 1 85381 078 9
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Balancing Acts: Contemporary Stories by Russian Women 
edited by Helena Goscilo.
Indiana, 337 pp., $39.95, April 1989, 0 253 31134 9
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... Tatyana Nikitichna, her publishers keep reassuring us, is ‘descended from the Tolstoys’ – that’s to say, from Aleksey Tolstoy, not the one who wrote nonsense verse (with two cousins) under the name of Kuzma Prutkof, but the one who wrote The Road to Calvary. But none of this has any bearing on her brilliant success. That came in 1986, three years after she had begun to appear in print, with her story ‘Peters ...

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