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The Khvoshchinskaia sisters in English

July 25, 2017
Khvoshchinskaia Nadezhda

Nadezhda Khvoshchinskaia (1822 or 1824–1889)

A few years ago I had some reason to look up a late nineteenth-century anthology where literary all-stars contributed stories for some good cause, possibly famine relief. I remember flipping through a story by Nadezhda Khvoshchinskaia and finding it kind of off-putting, with maybe a touch of ура-патриотизм. But I shouldn’t have judged her hastily, based on this one work from very late in her life that I skimmed; this post by Languagehat makes me want to read her. So does this qualified praise by Nekrasov in 1856 (which follows a long paragraph about the shortcomings of Russian women writers in general, including, if I’m not mistaken, a slam on Ol’ga N. in particular with the word пословиц).

As LH and his commenter Zack point out, both Nadezhda and Sof’ia Khvoshchinskaia have been translated. I checked WorldCat and A History of Women’s Writing in Russia, ed. Adele Marie Barker and Jehanne M. Gheith (Cambridge, 2002), and it looks like a few of their shorter works have been translated too:

Nadezhda Khvoshchinskaia

“On the Way: A Sketch” (В дороге, 1854), translated by Joe Andrew in Russian Women’s Shorter Fiction: An Anthology, 1835-1860 (Oxford, 1996).

The Boarding-School Girl (Пансионерка, 1860), translated by Karen Rosneck (Evanston, 2000).

“After the Flood” (После потопа, 1881), translated by Karla Thomas Solomon in Russian Women Writers, vol. 1, ed. Christine D. Tomei (New York, 1999).


Sof’ia Khvoshchinskaia

“Reminiscences of Institute Life” (Воспоминания институтской жизни, 1861), translated by Valentina Baslyk in Russia through Women’s Eyes: Autobiographies from Tsarist Russia, ed. Toby W. Clyman and Judith Vowles (New Haven, 1996).

City Folk and Country Folk (Городские и деревенские, 1863), translated by Nora Seligman Favorov, to be published in August 2017. (At lib.ru the Russian text is filed under Nadezhda Kh., but that seems to be a mistake – it’s signed Iv. Vesen’ev, Sof’ia’s pseudonym.)


I don’t think anything by the youngest sister, Praskov’ia Khvoshchinskaia, has been translated into English.

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