The Russian Girl

The Russian Girl
The Russian Girl book cover.jpg
Cover of first edition (hardcover)
AuthorKingsley Amis
CountryUnited Kingdom
GenreComedy novel
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)

The Russian Girl is a 1992 comedy novel by Kingsley Amis published by Hutchinson & Co.


Set in the early nineties the novel describes in comic detail events set in train by the arrival in London of Russian poet Anna Danilova. Richard Vaisey, Anna's sponsor and soon-to-be lover is a middle-aged academic, a professor of Slavonic studies not so happily married to wife Cordelia. Anna's youth and charm is what attracts Richard, not her poetry which he regards as doggerel. Anna attempts to portray her would-be oligarch brother, in legal trouble in Russia, as a dissident in order to elicit support from the London literati. Comedy of course ensues in Cordelia's response to Richard's infatuation and in the interaction of the latter with other minor characters.


The novel was in general very favourably reviewed. The New York Times describing it as '"more of a good wine, vintage Amis: smooth, dry and not overpriced."[1] The Los Angeles Times called it "a wonderful new concert of plot and language that provokes both belly laughs and twinges of discomfort".[2] Kirkus Reviews described it thus: "Vintage Amis — as divisive, compelling, and hilarious as the Bobbitt trial".[3] Publishers Weekly however described the novel as "only fitfully amusing".[4]


  1. ^ New York Times (15 May 1994). "A Little Sex, a Little Dostoyevsky". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Blast, We Forgot the Sisters Karamazov : Kingsley Amis can skewer the modern world like no other writer". 12 June 1994.
  3. ^ Kirkus Reviews. "The Russian Girl".
  4. ^ Publishers Weekly (May 1994). "The Russian Girl".