Dubravka Ugresic retells the myth of Baba Yaga - one of the most famous stories in Russian and Eastern European mythology
Baba Yaga is an old hag who lives in a house built on chicken legs and kidnaps small children. She is one of the most pervasive and powerful creatures in all mythology. She appears in many forms: as Pupa, a tricksy, cantankerous old woman who keeps her legs tucked into a huge furry boot; as a trio of mischievous elderly women who embark on the trip of a lifetime to a hotel spa; and as a villainous flock of ravens, black hens and magpies infected with the H5N1 virus. But what story does Baba Yaga have to tell us today?
This is a quizzical tale about one of the most pervasive and poerful creatures in all mythology, and an extraordinary yarn of identity, secrets, storytelling and love.
“Ugrasic’s retelling may be blisteringly postmodern in its execution but at its heart is a human warmth and even a silliness that infuses it with the sweet magic of storytelling.”
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“Packed with intellectual surprises and emotional revelations”
“The message that old crones are the product of “long-lived, labyrinthine, fertile, profoundly misogynistic but also cathartic work of the imagination” is expressed with humour, eloquence and anger.”
“Ugresic has a unique tone of voice, a madcap wit and a lovely sense of the absurd. Ingenious.”
“She is a writer to follow. A writer to be cherished.”
Dubravka Ugresic was born in 1949 in Yugoslavia. She has published both novels and books of essays. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages and she has received several major European literary awards, including the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, known as the ‘American Nobel’, in 2016. She was also a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize 2009. She is now based in Amsterdam.