By Susan Harris
Oksana Zabuzhko's "Girls" portrays a passionate adolescent friendship that explodes into more. In the hothouse of a Ukrainian elementary school, the charismatic Effie seduces the studious Darka; decades later, the adult Darka revisits, and interrogates, her obsession. Zabuzhko's parenthical asides deftly portray the shifting perspectives of girlhood memories and adult reconsiderations of Effie's duplicity, Darka's revenge, and the inevitable, shattering ending. In Askold Melnyczuk's hypnotic translation, the story is, like Effie, headlong, arresting, and hard to forget.
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