Lina and Serge: The Love and Wars of Lina Prokofiev

Simon Morrison. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-0-547-39131-1
Born in 1897 into a family that was not exactly prosperous but had enough resources to travel around Europe and to New York, Lina inherited her father’s deep love of music and her mother’s courage, impetuosity, and strong commitment to various causes. Drawing on newly available materials from the Russian State Archive of Literature and Art and the Serge Prokofiev Estate, music historian Morrison energetically and compellingly traces Lina’s life from her childhood in Europe through her young adulthood in New York to her tempestuous marriage to the famed composer Serge Prokofiev, her time in the gulag, and her final years in the U.S. At one of his concerts in 1919, Lina met Serge and soon after they married. In their life together, Lina realized that her singing would take a backseat to his stage life, and her suffering commenced as her hopes for a music career were dashed. Later, Lina became an outspoken critic of the political regime, while Serge conformed. After he betrayed Lina and deserted her for another woman, her life fell apart quite quickly; held in captivity in prison camps from 1948 to 1956, Lina never regained her courage or energy, even after she decamped for the U.S. in 1974. Morrison powerful portrait reveals a haunting story of one woman’s tragedy and one man’s flaws. Agent, Will Lippincott, Lippincott, Massie, McQuilken. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/24/2012
Release date: 03/19/2013
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-547-84413-8
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