ELINA ALTER is a writer and translator. Her work appears in The Los Angeles Review of Books, BOMB, The Paris Review, The New England Review, and elsewhere. She is the editor of Circumference, a journal of translation and international culture.
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For fans of Maggie Nelson and Eileen Myles, the lyrical and deeply moving story of a young queer woman’s journey across Russia to inter her mother’s ashes and to understand her sexuality, femininity, and grief
From one of Russia’s most exciting new voices, Wound follows a young lesbian poet on a journey from Moscow to her hometown in Siberia, where she has promised to bury her mother’s ashes. Woven throughout this fascinating travel narrative are harrowing and at times sublime memories of her childhood and her sexual and artistic awakening. As she carefully documents her grief and interrogates her past, the narrator of Oksana Vasyakina’s autobiographical novel meditates on queerness, death, and love and finds new words for understanding her relationship with her mother, her country, her sexuality, and her identity as an artist.
A sensual, whip-smart account of the complicated dynamics of queer life in present-day Siberia and Moscow, Wound is also in conversation with feminist thinkers and artists, including Susan Sontag, Louise Bourgeois, and Monique Wittig, locating Vasyakina’s work in a rich and exciting international literary tradition.