“Lavrinenko writes in the style of Chekhov and Turgenev and shows how traditional provincial life is affected by modernity.” – Literary Review
“The young writer Anna Lavrinenko has admirably succeeded in conveying an acute sense of the fragility of adolescent love, always on the point of self-annihilation… She keeps the reader in constant tension despite an apparently artless story about love between two lonely unremarakable teenagers. Her stories suggest an emotional depth and provide much food for thought.” – Vladimir Makanin, Booker Prize winner
“Lavrinenko explores the anguish that weighs on her generation with time going by. Deliciously bitter-sweet.” – Sonia Desprez, GRAZIA magazine
The stories in the collection are concerned primarily with the difficult process of coming of age. They are about young people who see themselves as different--outcasts, oddballs, freaks--and who, through some experience of love (and loss), grow up. One of Anna's strengths is that she is able to write well and convincingly about this process while she herself is so young, giving her a much closer perspective. Her characters are honest, earnest and eager, while at the same melodramatic and naive: just like real young people. Obviously this "Ugly Duckling"-type story is a well worn one, but it is also a timeless story that she has managed to make new again.
Anna Lavrinenko (b. 1984) lives in Yaroslavl (Central Russia). A Law graduate she works as a company lawyer in Yaroslavl as well as taking an active part in the city’s cultural life: she leads a reading group there and reviews books and films for the local press. Her short stories and essays have been published in the top literary and art magazines. Her L’enfant perdu came out in French from L’Aube in 2013.
Lavrinenko’s narratives, warm-hearted, absorbing, and perceptive, are set in the 1000-year-old city of Yaroslavl which provides a vivid backdrop rich in details which go unseen by tourists. She describes its various communities, the local celebrities, some extraordinary events, providing insightful portrayals of a modern-day Russian hinterland. She is concerned primarily with the difficult process of coming of age. Her characters are young people who see themselves as different – outcasts, oddballs, freaks – and who grow up through some experience of love and loss.