How We Survived Communism & Even Laughed

Paperback | June 7, 2016

bySlavenka Drakulic

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This essay collection from renowned journalist and novelist Slavenka Drakulic, which quickly became a modern (and feminist) classic, draws back the Iron Curtain for a glimpse at the lives of Eastern European women under Communist regimes. Provocative, often witty, and always intensely personal, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed cracks open a paradoxical world that through its rejection of capitalism and commoditization ends up fetishizing both.

Examining the relationship between material goods and expressions of happiness and individuality in a society where even bananas were an alien luxury, Drakulic homes in on the eradication of female identity, drawing on her own experiences as well as broader cultural observations. Enforced communal housing that allowed for little privacy, the banishment of many time-saving devices, and a focus on manual labor left no room for such bourgeois affectations as cosmetics or clothes, but Drakulic’s remarkable exploration of the reality behind the rhetoric reveals that women still went to desperate lengths to feel “feminine.”

How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed also chronicles the lingering consequences of such regimes. The Berlin Wall may have fallen, but Drakulic’s power pieces testify that ideology cannot be dismantled so quickly; a lifetime lived in fear cannot be so easily forgotten.

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From Our Editors

Hailed by feminists as one of the most important contributions to women's studies in the last decade, this gripping, beautifully written account describes the daily struggles of women under the Marxist regime in the former republic of Yugoslavia. "Drakulic is a journalist and novelist whose voice belongs to the world".--Gloria Steinem

From the Publisher

This essay collection from renowned journalist and novelist Slavenka Drakulic, which quickly became a modern (and feminist) classic, draws back the Iron Curtain for a glimpse at the lives of Eastern European women under Communist regimes. Provocative, often witty, and always intensely personal, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughe...

Slavenka Drakulic's work has appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, the New York Times, Time, and The New York Review of Books among many other publications and is widely translated throughout the world.Her books include the novel Holograms of Fear and her most recent collection of essays, The Balkan Express.She lives in Zagreb.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.5 inPublished:June 7, 2016Publisher:HarperCollins

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060975407

ISBN - 13:9780060975401

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From Our Editors

Hailed by feminists as one of the most important contributions to women's studies in the last decade, this gripping, beautifully written account describes the daily struggles of women under the Marxist regime in the former republic of Yugoslavia. "Drakulic is a journalist and novelist whose voice belongs to the world".--Gloria Steinem

Editorial Reviews

“Not only the first ever grassroots feminist critique of communism, it’s one of our first glimpses into real peoples’ lives in pre–revolutionary Eastern Europe. My world is twice as large as it was before I read this book.… [Drakulic] is a brave, funny, wise and wonderfully gifted writer.”