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14 Jan 5:00am

Teffi: A Life of Letters and of Laughter by Edythe Haber – review

The Guardian
A meticulous biography unravels the life of the female Russian humorist who charmed tsars, revolutionaries – and Paris societyNothing dates faster than humour. The Russian writer Teffi (born Nadezhda Lokhvitskaya in 1872, the sixth child of a lawyer) had the misfortune not only to be an astringently witty and fiercely professional female author – an unusual breed in 19th-century Russia – but almost untranslatably so. “Miss Duncan, why go barefoot when tights have been invented?” (You’re smiling? Neither am I.)
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