I cannot imagine a better title than There Once Lived A Woman Who Tried To Kill Her Neighbor's Baby. Really, how could that not be interesting? The book leaped the synapse from shelf to hand with immediate, chemical certainty. And the stories inside live up to the title's promise.
Like Borges, Grimm and Chekov combined, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya compresses almost everything I like about art into morbid, hopeful, magical, bleak, gentle, ambiguous little fairy tales that catch the light of human character embedded in the grim slag of Soviet Russia. And while the stories are infused with Russian tone, history and specifics, the rock weight of suffering and alienation squeezing out scary sparks can be found everywhere.
I was looking for ways to fit in more gushing adjectives: exquisite, condensed, onyx, They-Might-Be-Giants-esque. But you get the idea.