In the Beginning

Irina Ratushinskaya, Author, Alyona Kojevnikov, Translator Alfred A. Knopf $23 (317p) ISBN 978-0-394-57141-6
In a harrowing memoir of growing up in the Soviet Union, poet-dissident Ratushinskaya tells how she resisted the state's continual brainwashing efforts amid a society of informants and conformists. She met her future husband Igor Geraschenko, when she was five and he was six; a human rights activist, Geraschenko was eventually branded a Ukrainian nationalist troublemaker. The author, meanwhile, facing constant harassment from the KGB for ``anti-Soviet activities'' like writing poetry, lived on hope and proceeds from samizdat; her book is the song of an unbroken spirit. The final grisly chapters chronicle her arrest, four-year imprisonment (an ordeal detailed in her first book, Grey Is the Color of Hope ) and exile to London, where she now lives with her husband. In passing comments, she expresses her belief that glasnost and perestroika are the window-dressing of a repressive society. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
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