The New Prose of Tatyana Tolstaya

Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates


2019, Vol. 5. №4(20)

The New Prose of Tatyana Tolstaya

For citation: Bryzgalova M. D. 2019. “The New Prose of Tatyana Tolstaya”. Tyumen State University Herald. Humanities Research. Humanitates, vol. 5, no 4 (20), pp. 87-97. DOI: 10.21684/2411-197X-2019-5-4-87-97

About the author:

Maria D. Bryzgalova, Postgraduate Student, Department of Russian and Foreign Literature, Ural Federal University named after the first President of Russia B. N. Yeltsin (Yekaterinburg);; ORCID: 0000-0001-9561-0204


This article studies the characteristics of Tatyana Tolstaya’s prose of the 2010s, that was compiled with her essays and previous works into a tetralogy: “The Imperceptible Worlds” (2014), “The Girl in Blossom” (2015), “The Invisible Maiden” (2015), “The Century Made of Felt” (2015). This study aims to identify the creative strategies used by the writer, as well as to trace how Tolstaya describes her particular topics in different genres. Hopefully, this will fill in the lacuna in the contemporary Russian literature studies, as Tolstaya’s works have received little academic attention despite their popularity among contemporary readers. To achieve this goal, the author of this article has applied structural-semantic and textological methods.
The main feature of Tolstaya’s “new prose” is the transition from the third person narrative to the first. These changes are closely related to Tatyana Tolstaya’s creative roles, such as a teacher, a journalist, a TV-presenter, and a blogger. The role of an author is the main role as it affects the rest.
The topics and motifs, present in Tolstaya’s previous fiction and non-fiction works though quite indirectly and detached, come to the fore in 2010s. The main themes include time, memory, and folk mentality. New novels and short stories can also be characterized by the motive of many worlds: the real world is surrounded by other worlds — the “aetherial” ones.
Tolstaya’s “new prose” is undoubtedly intertextual, which is necessary for her style. It combines documentary and artistry, autobiographical features and a certain measure of detachment, which allow seeing an autobiographical heroine in the text.


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