The Estonian Quartet #1
In this astonishing debut by a writer equipped with a rare storytelling genius, the lives of three women of different generations and societies – grandmother, mother, and daughter – serve as the uniting force of a highly unusual and powerful, epic narrative. In depicting the lives of Sofia, Katariina and Anna, whose stories unfold within communist Estonia, capitalist Finland, or both, Oksanen lets the entire 20th century flash before our eyes – while retaining a loving but firm grip on her characters and the bond between them.
Stalin’s Cows is Oksanen’s inexorable showdown with hypocrisy – the power of shame and feeling second-class, the harsh division between East and West, and the impossible feat of being a woman. The novel is also the first installment in The Estonian Quartet, which depicts the division of Europe and the consequences that reach from the 1930s into present day.