The Exiled Heart: A Meditative Autobiography

Kelly Cherry, Author Louisiana State University Press $29.95 (268p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1620-3
In 1965, Cherry, an American novelist and poet ( My Life and Dr. Joyce Brothers) , met Imant Kalman, a married, Latvian composer, in a Moscow hotel lobby and fell in love at first sight. Their romance lasted for almost 25 years, but Communist bureaucracy and intimidation effectively kept them apart and prevented their marriage. Cherry charts the frustrations of their long-distance courtship, nourished chiefly by communications smuggled out of the Soviet Union and by glimmers of hope for the finalization of Imant's divorce. She describes their reunions, one in 1975, another in the late '80s; attests to her growing appreciation of Latvian culture; and accepts Kalman's marriage to another woman. The memoir drifts into philosophic and poetic inquiries that readers will find less wrenching than the tortuous twists of Cherry's abortive love affair. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
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