Author(s): Zemaite' Zemaite'
This story, by one of Europe's most skilful practitioners of the art of short fiction, has now been translated into English for the first time. Zosė, a beautiful, diligent and innocent peasant girl, works as a maid in the service of a wealthy country estate. Courted by the local young men and resistant to the attentions of her master, who forces himself upon her, she is in fact wholly in love with Tofylis, the huntsman. But Tofylis's good looks and practised seduction manoeuvres have blinded her to his brutishness and faux sophistication. This simple tale from 1897 is made deeply complex by Zemaitė's acute, compassionate eye and ear for the lives of the lower classes in Lithuania at the time. As a depiction of patriarchal attitudes, coercive control and the limited options facing poor women, it has remarkable contemporary resonance.