New book explores the role writer's wives played in the creation of Russian masterpieces
Leo and Sophia Tolstoy, 1906.
Yelena Akhtiorskaya reviews Alexandra Popoff's new book, The Wives: The Women Behind Russia's Literary Giants. A fascinating subject that is often overlooked: 'Alexandra Popoff’s book is a look at Russian writers’ wives—greatest hits edition—the women who brought us the men who brought us the classics. Included are Anna Dostoevsky and Sophia Tolstoy (the originals), Véra Nabokov, Nadezhda Mandelstam, Elena Bulgakov, and Natalya Solzhenitsyn, each of them paired with a handy epithet—Nursemaid of Talent (Mrs. Tolstoy) or Mysterious Margarita (guess who). The central argument of The Wives is twofold: that great writers have demanding habits, and that the women who tended to those habits deserve recognition.' [Read More]