Survival as Victory: Ukrainian Women in the Gulag - Harvard Series in Ukrainian Studies (Hardback)
  • Survival as Victory: Ukrainian Women in the Gulag - Harvard Series in Ukrainian Studies (Hardback)
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Survival as Victory: Ukrainian Women in the Gulag - Harvard Series in Ukrainian Studies (Hardback)

(author), (translator)
£78.95
Hardback 652 Pages
Published: 02/03/2021
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Of the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian women were sentenced to the Gulag in the 1940s and 1950s, only half survived. In Survival as Victory, Oksana Kis has produced the first anthropological study of daily life in the Soviet forced labor camps as experienced by Ukrainian women prisoners.

Based on the written memoirs, autobiographies, and oral histories of over 150 survivors, this book fills a lacuna in the scholarship regarding Ukrainian experience. Kis details the women’s resistance to the brutality of camp conditions not only through the preservation of customs and traditions from everyday home life, but also through the frequent elision of regional and confessional differences. Following the groundbreaking work of Anne Applebaum’s Gulag: A History (2003), this book is a must-read for anyone interested in gendered strategies of survival, accommodation, and resistance to the dehumanizing effects of the Gulag.

Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674258280
Number of pages: 652
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Based on more than 150 memoirs and testimonies, Oksana Kis’s Survival as Victory provides a subtle and nuanced portrait of Ukrainian women prisoners in the Gulag. Kis is not afraid to tackle all of the aspects of life in the camps, from pregnancy and motherhood to rape and torture, showing how women brought traditionally ‘female’ habits and customs from home into the camps, effectively creating a counterculture to the brutal regime. Survival as Victory is a must-read for students of the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Ukraine, as well as for anyone interested in moving stories of real women’s lives. - Anne Applebaum, author of Gulag: A History

Relying on by far the richest collection of memoirs and creative artifacts of Ukrainian women imprisoned in Stalin’s Gulag between 1939 and 1956, Survival as Victory portrays a generation of politically active women punished for loyalty to their nation and opposition to Soviet Communism. Oksana Kis focuses on the women’s agency and analyzes the practices and beliefs that allowed them to maintain their identity and humanity despite brutal conditions. An important corrective to historiography on Ukraine, this book for the first time showcases overlooked female experience of Soviet repression and contribution to the national struggle. - Katherine R. Jolluck, Senior Lecturer in Modern East European History, Stanford University, and author of Exile and Identity: Polish Women in the Soviet Union during World War II

Crisp, factual, original, and eminently readable—this gem of a book on a painfully overlooked topic captures the resilience of Ukrainian women prisoners in the vast Soviet Gulag system. - Martha Bochachevsky-Chomiak, author of Feminists Despite Themselves: Women in Ukrainian Community Life, 1884–1939

Kis’s book adds to the growing body of literature on the questions of gender and women’s experiences in the Gulag forced labour camps…Shows how in the face of hard labour, hunger, poor living conditions, rape, sexual violence and loss, prisoners have maintained hope, and how their survival became their way of defiance of the Soviet state…A valuable contribution to the field. - Olga Khrushcheva, Women's History Review

A particular strength of Kis’s study is that it presents the multiplicity of Ukrainian women’s voices and occasionally draws on the perspectives of Polish, German, Russian, and Russian speaking Jewish female Gulag survivors…Survival as Victory makes a significant contribution to the emerging scholarship on women’s Gulag experience and will be of interest to both scholars and general readers. - Oksana Husieva, Canadian Slavonic Papers

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