10 Russian Literary Heroines Every Reader Should Know About (AmReading.com)

If you take a look at the English literary canon, you’re bound to find particular stand-out heroines therein: Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet or Brontë’s Jane Eyre, for example. Yet, in Russian literature heroines are cut from rather different cloth and, as opposed to the females in Western writing, these ladies very rarely achieve a “happy ending.”

Just as Tolstoy declared that each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, likewise is each Russian literary heroine seemingly uniquely miserable – to a point. There is a trend that links them, for happiness, per se, is a rarity for the Russian literary heroine, as she always seems to make life difficult for herself. This is, of course, part of her very Russianness, this “capacity to suffer,” the (nearly always) beautiful woman predestined to undergo or bear witness to some tragedy or other […]

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