Matryona's House

Stephen Critchlow reads Alexander Solzhenitsyn's short story from 1953, centring on Matryona, an impoverished but generous peasant woman living in a remote Russian village called Peatproduce.

The narrator describes how, after serving a ten-year prison sentence, he takes lodging with Matryona, who endures her drab life with cheerfulness and fortitude, until tragedy strikes.

The story's depiction of the miseries of village life, essentially unchanged by Communism, offended Soviet critics in its 'pessimism'.

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Stephen Critchlow reads Alexander Solzhenitsyn's short story from 1953, centring on Matryona, an impoverished but generous peasant woman living in a remote Russian village called Peatproduce.

The narrator describes how, after serving a ten-year prison sentence, he takes lodging with Matryona, who endures her drab life with cheerfulness and fortitude, until tragedy strikes.

The story's depiction of the miseries of village life, essentially unchanged by Communism, offended Soviet critics in its 'pessimism'.