Wednesday, 28 April 2010

She knew she was right (Litvinov) 277

Another collection of stories, this time by Ivy Litvinov. The name sounded familiar, and when I read the blurb, I remembered that Maxim Litvinov was Stalin's Commissar for Foreign Affairs; Ivy was his wife, and one of the very few Englishwomen with a close connection to the Russian cabinet. I couldn't resist buying this title from ebay, purely for the title, She knew she was right. I invariably know that I am right. And I was quite right about choosing this book - it is a lovely collection.

The introduction says that Ivy Litvinov coined a phrase to describe her writing - "sorterbiography" - a mixture of memoir and fiction, and the stories in this collection, some previously published in the New Yorker, and a couple of unpublished ones reflect that. The first four stories in the collection, including the title story, draw of Litvinov's childhood growing up in England. The middle section of stories are set in Russia and the last few return to England.

It's just been published once by Virago, but I absolutely adore the cover image of a woman who certainly looks as though she knows that she is right!


  1. Haha, love that cover image too! She's all smug and totally comfortable in her ability to down any man with one look!
    Interesting indeed..never heard of Ivy Litvinov. Off to wikipedia..

  2. I wonder if the author knew of Trollope's novel He Knew He Was Right?