Text: Alexandra Bazhenova-Sorokina
GREAT WRITERS ARE SPEAKED MUCH MORE THAN ABOUT WRITERS, - the latter are often associated with literature “for women”. This is certainly unfair - modern literature would not be what it is without outstanding women writers. We decided to recall ten of our writing contemporaries, who will certainly be read tomorrow and in a few decades.
Perhaps the most successful intellectual writer of the 21st century, Donna Tartt has thundered around the world with her third novel, The Goldfinch. It turned out that among postmodernism and postirany there is a place (and the need has ripened) for an old-fashioned serious work. Weighty volumes of Tartt are snapping up rapidly: both readers and critics appreciate her for her beautiful language, ingenious plots, humanism and for the thoughtful slowness with which you read Dickens or George Eliot.
In The Goldfinch, the classic novel of upbringing, based on the tragedy of a boy and his long journey to growing up and finding himself, fascinates at the same time with the sophistication of the style and the twists of the plot. This is exactly the case when the pondering of the text drags on - much longer than the actual reading time.
Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates' performance has been teased for some time, but critics have run dry, and the talent of the 78-year-old American has not. Dozens of novels, hundreds of stories and poems, of course, are not of equal size, but there are already articles on this that will help to understand the existing legacy of Oates.
Few people have managed over the years so consistently and with such subtlety to talk about violence, about gender and racial inequality, about social problems, showing them not only as "environmental problems", but as part of the inner life of the individual and, accordingly, as anthropological problems. … In Russia, Oates is primarily known for the programmatic novel "The Garden of Earthly Joys" about the struggle between the destructive and creative principle in one woman.
At eighty-five, Toni Morrison is a living legend, a literary pillar, undeservedly little read in Russia. One of the main authors of American multiculturalism, like no other, claims to be the Marquez of the United States. She released her last novel only a year ago, actively lectures and is a loud voice of "black America", whose comments on the murders of African American teenagers are no less important for many Western intellectuals than the statements of politicians or pop stars.
In his novels, Morrison talks about the identity of the African American population of the United States through magical realism. For example, "Beloved" is a story of a woman who escapes from slavery and is forced to face her own past, which takes on flesh and blood, written in the best traditions of American Gothic. The writer's texts are structured in such a way that through the multiple perspectives of the characters, the author's reflection on human dignity, on different types of oppression, myth and love is refracted.
In modern Russian prose, women play a key role, and all the important names cannot be listed. However, above all of them rises, like a pillar, the Russian magician of the word Lyudmila Petrushevskaya. The author of novels, plays, stories, songs, fairy tales that have become memes (Peter the pig), and the script for the mystical "Fairy Tale of Fairy Tales" by Norstein still actively writes, as well as sings, draws and does everything else.
And stories, and novels, and the story "Night Time", which brought Petrushevskaya the first glory, is really hard to read, because it is not the fantastic component (where it is at all) that makes her prose frightening, but the Gogolian irony and vitality of the nightmares that occur.However, the oppressive and magical world of Petrushevskaya is attractive, and not only for compatriots: she managed to achieve recognition both in the post-Soviet space (and this after a long-term ban on her books) and abroad. To this day, she remains one of the most translated Russian writers.
The most famous Spanish-speaking writer of the 20th century, Chilean by nationality, was born in Lima, and lives in the United States, so it may well be considered Pan American. In addition to the classic "House of Spirits" and the adventures of Eva Luna, the writer has, for example, an amazing autobiographical book "Paula" dedicated to her deceased daughter and telling about the coup in Chile, about the personal life and vocation of Allende herself and motherhood.
Allende proved that a Latin American woman could become a world-famous writer, and she herself began to establish the rules for the relationship between magical realism, eroticism and historical storytelling. Her wonderful book "Aphrodite", dedicated to aphrodisiacs, deserves special attention.
Ursula Le Guin
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, David Mitchell and Salman Rushdie, J.R.R. Martin and other greats of the literary world openly acknowledge the undeniable influence of Ursula Le Guin's work on their prose. One of the main authors of science fiction and fantasy of the 20th century has an imagination capable of inhabiting distant planets and thinking in detail about the features of forms of culture that are alternative to human. But not only.
In her texts, she accurately and deeply, with the wise detachment of an anthropologist, analyzes the nature of gender, sexual and social inequality, reflects on otherness in all its manifestations, on the ecology and politics of the colonialists - and these questions were asked by the author of The Left Hand of Darkness and Earthsea legends. long before it became mainstream.
Olga Sedakova was entrusted with "Moscow - Petushki" by Venedikt Erofeev, John Paul II corresponded with her, she was taught and studied by Sergei Averintsev. She translated Thomas Aquinas, Emily Dickinson, Paul Claudel and others, but most importantly, she wrote and writes poems that in the 20th and 21st centuries do not speak funny or falsely about faith.
Sedakova began to work when any creativity related to religion was banned in the USSR, and now, finding herself in completely different conditions and facing other difficulties, she continues to prove that spiritual heights and true art can still be combined and bring light. not destruction. The poetess is published in Russia and abroad, and her philosophical and philological works are no less interesting than poetry. The amazing purity and grandeur of the Russian language, which the author speaks at a level unattainable for most modern writers, can be seen in any of her texts, including the last collection of poems from different years, The Garden of the Universe.
Around the figure of Svetlana Aleksievich, controversy constantly burns, and even after she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, even more so: after all, she does not write fiction. Indeed, Aleksievich is the first nonfiction author in the history of the award. If the political statements of the writer raise questions, then her works speak for themselves.
Aleksievich's texts give ordinary people the opportunity to write history, whether it is about women and children in World War II or about those who served in Afghanistan. Both in the program book "The War Does Not Have a Woman's Face" and in the new work on the 90s "Second-Hand Time" it is difficult to separate fiction and non-fiction literature. The emotional effect of the prose of the great Belarusian is no less than that of the novels, and what she narrates is both a document of the era and a universal monument to human suffering.
"Chekhov of Our Time", the goddess of the short form, Alice Munroe has lived in her native Canada all her life (now she is 85) and writes mainly about her.But in fact, the stories of the Nobel laureate are universal - they are filled with the dreams of ordinary people, daily activities and stories of relationships between spouses, parents and children. Interestingly, Munroe is constantly rewriting his stories, so your loved one may have a different version.
The stories are written in such a way that you want to reread them, and each time in a small text she manages to fit a surprisingly rich narrative, creating a world that significantly exceeds the volume of the work. In the collections "Too Much Happiness" and "The Runaway" published in Russian, one can feel all the characteristic features of Munro's prose. There is more understatement than clarity, time jumps back and forth, and the story can end in mid-sentence. Despite the sometimes famously twisted plots and characters unexpectedly changing in the eyes of the reader, you believe every word of the author, as if you are personally observing what is happening.
One of the most influential nonfiction authors out of the New Journalism school, Joan Didion is a model writer who creates literature from life. Since the 1960s, Didion has been writing prose and journalism, exploring a wide variety of social phenomena and problems. One of Didion's most highly regarded works, the autobiographical book A Year of Magical Thinking, was written as a kind of therapy: the author describes the death of her husband, the illness of her daughter, grief as a social phenomenon and as a personal experience.
Both the fictional and journalistic texts of the writer are thought out to the smallest detail: a student of Hemingway, Henry James and George Eliot preaches the value of correctly aligning each sentence, because syntax, like a camera in a movie, snatches out of reality exactly what the author wants to show the reader.