A Week Like Any Other

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Natalya Baranskaya's most famous work, A Week Like Any Other, is a novella first published in 1969. The novella presents a detailed and realistic view of Soviet women's daily realities in the 1960s, and earned her international recognition. It was first published in English in 1971.

A Week Like Any Other is written as a first-person account of one week in the life of Olga Voronkova. The protagonist is a 26-year-old research scientist and a married mother of two who is juggling a full-time career and a seemingly never-ending list of obligations at home. Olga is in a constant rush and is often sleep deprived. Her days begin before 6 a.m. and end after midnight -- and are so busy that, at the end of each day, she cannot seem to find the time or energy to fix a hook that has fallen off her bra. She is forced to reflect on her daily life when she is confronted with a mandatory "Questionnaire for Women" at work—a survey that asks Olga (and all her female coworkers) to calculate time spent on housework, childcare, and leisure in a single week. About the leisure category, Olga jokes that her only remaining hobby is the sport of running: running here and there, to the store and to catch the bus, always with a heavy grocery bag in each hand.

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