Erin Collopy


While a good deal of recent scholarly attention has been paid to the Soviet communal apartment, the current literature has not specifically addressed how women are affected by living in such a space. Russian women have a complicated relationship to the domestic sphere. While the domestic sphere is the center and source of women’s power, cultural and social demands require that women bear almost the entire burden of domestic responsibilities. The present work provides a brief history of the Soviet communal apartment and Russian women’s relationship to the domestic space. The focus then turns to the literary representation of women’s experiences in the communal apartment within the works of two stylistically different Russian women writers, Irina Grekova and Nina Sadur. I argue that despite their differences, both writers portray life in a communal apartment as less than ideal.

Author Biography

Erin Collopy is an assistant professor of Russian language and literature at Texas Tech University. Her research interests include gender studies, contemporary Russian literature written by women, and popular Russian culture.