THE TRAGIC MENAGERIE by Lydia Zinovieva-Annibal


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This collection of nine intense and doubtless autobiographical linked stories was the last book published (in 1907) by a feminist intellectual (1866—1907) whose second husband was Russian poet-philosopher Vyacheslav Ivanov. It comprises a rhapsodic portrait of an emotional girl (the fictional Vera) whose growth to maturity in a St. Petersburg boarding school, and on her family’s farm near the Baltic Sea, propels her through sympathy with animals raised for slaughter (the “tragic menagerie”) to dreams of “heroic action” on behalf of her country’s oppressed people. Overwritten, but Vera is a kind of Russian Anne Frank, and we come to care deeply for her.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1999
ISBN: 0-8101-1483-6
Page count: 183pp
Publisher: Northwestern Univ.
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1999