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Catalog Archive / Spring 2020

In Search of the True Russia
The Provinces in Contemporary Nationalist Discourse

Negotiating national identity in today's Russian culture

Russia's provinces have long held a prominent place in the nation's cultural imagination. Popular culture has increasingly turned from the newly prosperous, multiethnic, and westernized Moscow to celebrate the hinterlands as repositories of national traditions and moral strength. Lyudmila Parts argues that this change has directed debate about Russia's identity away from its loss of imperial might and global prestige and toward a hermetic national identity based on the opposition of "us versus us" rather than "us versus them." In Search of the True Russia offers an intriguing analysis of the contemporary debate over what it means to be Russian.


Lyudmila Parts.Lyudmila Parts is an associate professor of Russian and Slavic studies at McGill University in Montreal. She is the author of The Chekhovian Intertext: Dialogue with a Classic and the editor of The Russian Twentieth-Century Short Story: A Critical Companion.



“A fascinating study of how the internal Other of the provinces has been replacing the external Other of the West in post-Soviet cultural discourse. Useful for anyone interested in contemporary Russian culture.”
—Anne Lounsbery, New York University

“The book is a valuable exploration of how the symbolic geography of the provinces as an authentic Russian space is connected to the discourse of Russian nationalism.”
The Russian Review

“A thought-provoking, topical book about an important theme. . . . In her comprehensive book, Lyudmila Parts analyses this phenomenon, the significance of the provinces in the new Russia, from the viewpoint of literature, journalism and cinema.”

“Offers an intriguing analysis of the contemporary debate over what it means to be a true Russian. . . . Sheds new light on Russia’s national identity by focusing on concrete forms of cultural production in the post-Soviet period. ”
Europe-Asia Studies



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In Search of the True Russia: Cover art of a light blue background with five female models wearing modern versions of traditional Russian apparel.

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New in Paperback!

August 2020
LC: 2017046045 PG
216 pp. 6 x 9
5 b/w illus.

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Paper $21.95 S
ISBN 9780299317645
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Cloth $69.95 S
ISBN 9780299317607
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