The girl from the Metropol Hotel : growing up in communist Russia



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New York, New York : Penguin Books, [2017]
xix, 149 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
9780143129974, 014312997X

Original Russian edition: 2006

Introduction : Ludmilla Petrushevskaya's war / by Anna Summers -- The girl from the Metropol Hotel -- Family circumstances : the Vegers -- The war -- Kuibyshev -- Kuibyshev : survival strategies -- How I was rescued -- The Durov Theater -- Searching for food -- Dolls -- Victory night -- The Officers' Club -- The courtiers' language -- The Bolshoi Theater -- Down the ladder -- Literary sleep-ins -- My performances : green sweater -- The portrait -- The story of a little sailor -- My new life -- The Metropol Hotel -- Mumsy -- Summer camp -- Chekhov Street : Grandpa Kolya -- Trying to fit in -- Children's home -- I want to live! -- Snowdrop -- The wild berries -- Gorilla -- Dying swan -- Sanych -- Foundling

"The prizewinning memoir of one of the world's great writers, about coming of age and finding her voice amid the hardships of Stalinist Russia. Like a young Edith Piaf, wandering the streets singing for alms, and like Oliver Twist, living by his wits, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya grew up watchful and hungry, a diminutive figure far removed from the heights she would attain as an internationally celebrated writer. In The Girl from the Metropol Hotel, her prizewinning memoir, she recounts her childhood of extreme deprivation, made more acute by the awareness that her family of Bolshevik intellectuals, now reduced to waiting in bread lines, once lived large across the street from the Kremlin in the opulent Metropol Hotel. As she unravels the threads of her itinerant upbringing--of feigned orphandom, of sleeping in freight cars and beneath the kitchen tables of communal apartments, of the fugitive pleasures of scraps of food--we see, both in her remarkable lack of self-pity and in the more than two dozen photographs throughout the text, her feral instinct and the crucible in which her gift for giving voice to a nation of survivors was forged"--

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