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Sofia Petrovna

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  925 Ratings  ·  72 Reviews
Sofia Petrovna is Lydia Chukovskaya's fictional account of the Great Purge. Her eponymous heroine is a Soviet Everywoman, a doctor's widow who works as a typist in a Leningrad publishing house.
Paperback, 120 pages
Published August 1st 1988 by Northwestern University Press (first published 1965)
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USSR. 1937. Enemy of the people. These short words might as well be - and often were - a death sentence. For you. For your friends. For your family. For anyone connected with you. For millions and millions of the Soviet people that have perished in the Great Purges, courtesy of the terror state run by paranoid and fanatical Comrade Stalin (*)
(*) Little-known fact: "Joseph Stalin, the Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922-1953), was nominated for the Nobel Peace Priz
Feb 09, 2017 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian
There is great acting in this novella. I don't mean that this was cinematic, exactly. I mean that I was able to see each character. And there were a lot of characters, in that Russian way.

This is a novel about The Great Purge. Sofia Petrovna is a doctor's widow and a true believer. She trains to be a typist after her husband dies, because everyone must work. Her son joins the Komsomol. Sofia Petrovna advances, is spotlighted as an ideal.

And then, one by one, she sees people 'exposed' as saboteur
هر فصلی که جلو میروی قلبت سنگینتر میشود. مبهوت میشوی از این شباهت، از این مصیبتهای آشنا، از این قصهی همیشه تکرار! بغضت را قورت میدهی و با خودت فکر میکنی حال ما خوب نمیشه، حال ما دیگه خوب نمیشه. ...more
Sep 03, 2013 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brian by: Nataliya

One of (the only, perhaps?) the narratives actually written during the Stalin-era purges, Chukovskaya's long-supressed novel detailing the terror of living in Leningrad in the '30s is a nightmare. The reader feels the State's fist slowly closing over all areas of life - leaving nothing but ground up lives in its clutch.

The author wrote this book in a school exercise book and kept it hidden in a desk drawer - a certain death sentence if it were to be found. Some very real skill in characterizati
Dec 17, 2016 Pooriya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, novella
کتابهای زیادی درمورد دوره تاریک شوروی در زمان استالین نوشته شده اما اهمیت این کتاب در این است که متن درست در همان زمان به صورت مخفیانه نوشته شده است و نه چند سال بعد، یعنی نویسنده دقیقا تجربه زیسته مردم عادی در آن دوران را به رشته تحریر درآورده. ...more
آتوسا نوید
داستان سوفيا پتروونا قصه هول انگيزيه. قصه روايت ساده اييه از دوران تسويه حساب هاي خونين استالين در اواخر دهه سي ميلادي. اما چيزي كه روايت رو هول انگيز مي كنه خشونت يك نظام تماميت خواه نيست، بلكه سرسپردگي تمام و كمال قهرمان داستان به ايدئولوژي نظاميه كه زندگيش و تنها پسرش رو از اون مي گيره. كتاب پرسش مهمي در دل خودش داره. چطور آدمها به باورهاشون مي چسبن و چطور گاهي با وجود بهاي سنگيني كه پرداخت مي كنن توان نقد ايئولوژي و خروج از زير چتر اون رو ندارن.
Ben Winch
For what it is, this is good. What is it? The social realist, small-scale, human, truthful drama of a woman coming to terms with the abduction, by the Stalinist state, of her son. Its power lies in its mundanity―in its view of workplace politics, of state-sponsored peer pressure, of mothers queuing for hours/days/months for the merest tidbits of information. It has every appearance of complete truthfulness to life. If I prefer my fiction a little less truthful to life, that’s no fault of Lydia C ...more
Melika Khoshnezhad
سوفيا پتروونا رمان بسيار كوتاه و بسيار دردناكي بود، در جامعه اي مشخص اما به نظر من كاملا قابل تعميم به تمام جامعه هاي كوچك و بزرگ ديگر. درباره ي حتا خود ادم، وقتي كه سراپا دروغ مي شود و اگاهي و شعورش را از دست مي دهد. سوفيا سخت دلبسته ي جامعه اش است و وقتي تنها دلخوشي و دارايي زندگي اش يعني پسرش را از دست مي دهد نمي داند كدام را بپذيرد، دروغ گويي و خيانت پسرش را يا فروپاشي همه ي انچه به ان سخت ايمان داشته. اين تصميمي بسيار دشوار است كه كمابيش همه ما به روش هاي مختلف با ان روبه رو مي شويم. وقتي م ...more
مسعود حسینی
روایت واقعیه و این به جذابیتش اضافه می کنه. ویژگی مثبت عمده این رمان، روایت وقایع تاریخی برهه ای از تاریخ شوروی است.
Dec 18, 2011 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kafka's "The Trial" is almost an allegory, if an unusually powerful one. "Sofia Petrovna", by the Russian writer Lydia Chukovskaya, gives the Kafka story flesh. Sofia Petrovna is cursed by being the mother of an exceptional but conventionally Marxist son and a friend and fellow-typist in a publishing house who has the misfortune of being born to a disgraced middle-class. It is a world in which apparatchiks run publishing houses, where evidence of skill is the mark of being insufficiently proleta ...more
Jun 20, 2009 Serena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bought-brand-new
Sofia Petrovna is a touching novel with its stark tragedies and complexities. The frank tone in which Sofia Petrovna accepts and denies the circumstances within her life brings to life the reality of the Russian mindset during the purges of Stalin. Although the author has repeatedly stated that she does not understand the aesthetics of her piece, only that it portrays the honesty of that period in time, it nevertheless holds the caliber of a written masterpiece.

The reader is bound to feel for th
Jan 02, 2015 Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russia
This story of a woman and mother during Stalin's purges was very moving. The sense of loss, combined with the sense of frustration of those whose family members were taken away, is outstandingly portrayed. Perhaps it is the fact that this book was actually written at the time of the purges that gives it its immediacy, but the overwhelming sense of repression, unfairness and complete lack of justice or voice found in this book will linger with me.
Mar 31, 2014 Bjorn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russia, soviet
In Kolyma Tales , his memories of life in Stalin's prison camps, Varlam Shalamov wrote that one of the most horrifying aspects of Stalin's rule (and, one suspects, of any autocratic system) is how arbitrary it is. A dictator takes power in the name of the people, makes laws in the name of the people, convinces everyone that what's happening is for the people to protect them from dangerous elements without and within ... Except in reality, it didn't matter what you did. Anyone could be convicted ...more
Jan 01, 2014 Cathy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: love, fiction, historical
This novel was written in the winter of 1939-1940, and it sheds insight into “ordinary” life under a totalizing Soviet regime. Sofia Petrovna, a staunch Bolshevik, works at the government publishing house while taking care of her beloved son Kolya. She is respected in her senior position, and Kolya’s cogwheel invention is recognized in the Party newspaper.

Yet her simple life starts unraveling when a family friend, Dr. Kiparisov, is arrested. Then the director of the publishing house is arrested.
Jul 24, 2015 Lobstergirl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lloyd Blankfein
Shelves: fiction, russia

The author wrote this novella during Stalin's purges, and gave the manuscript to a friend for safekeeping in case something happened to her. Once Stalin had died and his actions were being looked on with disfavor, she submitted it for publication and got a contract to publish. But over the next few years, the winds of ideology shifted again and the authorities deemed her manuscript problematic and refused to publish it. She sued the publisher in court for full payment and won, but the court wasn
طيبه تيموري
تراژدی کوتاهی از تاریخ کشور شوروی است. به قول نویسنده «این که به نام آینده از علل و عواقب تراژدی بزرگی که رنج بسیاری برای مردم به بار آورده بود پرده برداریم.» بسیار حیاتی است.
«چه حیف که شغلی نداری. شغل به آدم کلی چیز برای فکر کردن می دهد و زندگی آدم را سرشار می کند. مخصوصاً وقتی شغل آدم با ادبیات گره خورده باشد.»
«برای لحظه ای به هیچ چیز جز همین اشیاء فکر نمی کرد. این چیزها را به جا می آورد: پنجره، صندلی، لباس. اما لحظه های بعد، جایی کنار قلبش، یک حس وحشت جان می گرفت، چیزی مثل حس درد، و از میان
Sonia Crites
Aug 06, 2016 Sonia Crites rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story was even better than I recalled. Sophia is a simple, good hearted, honest and trusting woman. She is our eyes during The Great Purge in Stalin's Russia. Is simple yet elegant prose we watch her struggle as her son becomes one of the accused even then she can't quite seem to believe in a world so corrupt. I love how different the women writers were from the men. You truly feel for Sophia and get a feel of the paranoia of the time.
Raheleh pourazar
دالهای کولیا هنوز انحنای زیادی داشت. همیشه همین طور مینوشتشان؛ با اینکه وقتی بچه بود، خود سوفیا پتروونا یادش داده بود دال را چطور بنویسد....حالا دیگر هوا کاملا تاریک شده بود. سوفیا پتروونا بلند شد چراغ را روشن کند، اما کلید چراغ کجای اتاق بود؟ دست به دیوار میسابید و پیش میرفت و به اثاث اتاق میخورد. اثاث اتاق را برای نظافت جابهجا کرده بود ...

خیلی واقعی و درست بود.
This story is about as uplifting as one would expect a tale of Soviet craziness to be. The author's note at the end makes it all the more sad, but you don't actually need someone to tell you this is somewhat based on a true story to know it surely happened. Many times.
Dec 24, 2010 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book shows the awful realities of Stalin's Great Purge. There are essentially two perspectives you can take in portraying the struggles of the people that were a part of this purge. One aspect is from the people that were exiled and the other is from the wives and mothers that watched their innocent husbands and sons be exiled. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch shows the former while Sofia Petrovna shows the latter. Both are vital in truly understanding the Great Purge and what happen ...more
May 15, 2016 Lahierbaroja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No sé si es porque esperaba menos o porque no tenía muy claro qué era lo que me iba a encontrar, pero me ha encantado. Conocer la realidad de la escritura y posterior publicación de la novela, la vida trágica de la autora, no hace más que darle fuerza a una narración directa y certera que es capaz de evolucionar con la protagonista, desde la confianza y la fe ciega hasta la desesperación y la tristeza.

Uno de esos libros que consiguen crear un nudo en el estómago, y aunque supongamos qué es lo qu
Oct 28, 2012 Meesh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm currently reading all the most significant Russian literature and Sofia Petrovna is the most easiest to read. In a word, it's sad. The book is very honest and considered to be courageous thus, it was a book meant for the drawer. Not till the 60's I believe, it was released. The book paralleled between theagonizing angst due to the absence of Chukovskaya's husband and her main character, Sofia Petrovna's absence of her son. There were a lot of similiarities and was an accurate portrayal purge ...more
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Jun 17, 2016 Tyj-Orion rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Съвсем случайно попаднах на това скрито съкровище в Читанка - прекрасна книга за Сталиновите чистки 1937 през погледа на обикновените хора.
Forgot about this- had to read it in college; it was quite depressing, but great. Sadly it reminds me of the modern American workplace, abstractly but strongly.
Apr 17, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
short, painful, powerful.
Jan 12, 2015 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best novels about Stalin's purges.
Dec 23, 2016 Mostafa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
کتاب نه تنها به نقد شیوه حکومت بلشویکها و کیش شخصیت استالین در قالب یک داستان واقعی میپردازد بلکه به نظرم به نقد افراد اون جامعه هم میپردازد. جامعهای که افراد اون به کوری و ناآگاهی مفرط دچار شدند. جامعهای که ایدئولوژی را مقدم و محترم تر از هرچیزی دیگر میپندارد. شاید این از معایب زندگی زیر چتر توتالیتاریسم باشد. شاید! ...more
Jan Stinchcomb
Feb 02, 2017 Jan Stinchcomb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Newly relevant, this slim novella tells the story of one mother's life during Stalin's Great Purge. Chukovskaya shows us this world through the eyes of an ordinary woman who, after her son's arrest, must suddenly come to terms with the horrible truth about her country.
May 28, 2014 Olga rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, dystopia, reality
Одна из лучших книг на тему сталинских репрессий.
Лидия Чуковская - дочь Корнея Ивановича Чуковского, дважды была замужем, от первого брака у нее осталась дочь Люша (Елена). Второй муж Чуковской, физик Матвей Бронштейн, был арестован в 1937 году и расстрелян в 1938, причем Лидии объявили приговор мужа как "10 лет без права переписки", "освободится - пришлет письмо". Тогда она еще не знала, что этот приговор был синонимом расстрела, а семьям говорили так, чтобы избежать истерик и лишнего шума.
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500 Great Books B...: Sofia Petrovna - Lydia Chukovskaya 2 10 Jul 29, 2014 11:53PM  
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Lydia Chukovskaya wrote 'Sofia Petrovna', a harrowing story about life during the Great Purges. But it was a while before this story would achieve widespread recognition. Out of favour with the authorities, yet principled and uncompromising, Chukovskaya was unable to hold down any kind of steady employment. But gradually, she started to get published again: an introduction to the works of Taras Sh ...more
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