Tuesday, 25 March 2014
Maria Matios (Мария Матиос, 1959) is undoubtedly one of the most best-selling authors in Ukraine. Her work is a perfect "symbiosis of tradition and stylization". In 2005 she received the T. Shevchenko Award for the novel "Sweet Darusia" (Солодка Даруся). Critics describe M. Matios as the most fruitful and the most hard-working Ukrainian female writer. She offers a reader a vast variety of genres: short-story, "dime novel", pamphlet novel, cookery book, novel saga. As Matios thinks, her reader is a person of a broad intellectual spectrum ("from an academic to a housewife"). This gets proved by the number of copies of her books. The reason for the success, according to several critics, lays in her orientation toward traditional Ukrainian values which get neglected by her colleagues as being "anachronistic". Matios stylizes her prose according to classical canons, however, her works are often described as "pseudo-classical". The main trait of her novels is the exaggerated sentimentality and an inclination toward melodramatic scenes. She looks for a gripping intrigue and emotional tensity. It is Matios who is often in the center of discussions about the phenomenon of popular literature, its antagonism with the "serious literature" and Matios's works are often said to be situated somewhere on the border between the two.