Having spent years in a coma, a female protagonist is anxious to lead a normal life. Her miraculous recovery is riddled with falling in and out of our time continuum – she wanders through history in her imagination as if it were her backyard. Notwithstanding her condition, her peers are going through a real change of their own echoing events that engulfed Russia in the past few decades. In Multiple Personalities, life is a masquerade and its participants are characters from classic world literature racing towards destination unknown. The question they all are asking is whether the traditional notion of time’s flow from the past to the future is the correct one. Who has the answer?
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Tatyana Shcherbina is known in Russia for her poetry and prose, as well as numerous essays and translations from French. Her early works had been self-published in the USSR to avoid censorship, and it was only in the new Russia that she gained public recognition. She recieved various literary awards and is considered one of Russia’s most celebrated female writers.
Endorsements and Review Quotes
“The whole of the book can’t be summarized any more than the women, or woman, at the heart of the novel cannot be summarized; but the collection of dialogues, visions, and moments of everyday life in the last half-century of history in Russia can be experienced without mastery of that history. The novel reads like riding along on an unexpected road trip that lets off too suddenly—leaving you to ponder the fragmented memories that remain.” Jonah Sutton-Morse, Strange Horizons
“Multiple Personalities is an intriguing novella that uses the idea of ‘split personalities’ as a metaphor for not only life under the Soviets, but also for the confusion of contemporary life in post-Soviet Russia.” Lisa Hill, ANZ LitLovers LitBlog
“Slightly dreamy, and certainly convoluted, Multiple Personalities is an intriguing take on modern Russia and the individual in it, with several inspired episodes (including both the opening and the final two chapters).” M.A.Orthofer, the complete review
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