My Half Century: Selected Prose

Anna Andreevna Akhmatova, Author, Ronald Meyer, Editor, Sharon Leiter, Translator Ardis Publishers $39.95 (439p) ISBN 978-0-87501-063-2
Voice of her generation and prophet of Russia's misery, poet Anna Akhmatova (1889-1966) was touched by personal tragedies. Her first husband, poet Nikolai Gumilyov, was executed on the false charge of treason in 1921; their son Lev spent years in prison and exile. Herself vilified in the press, censored, isolated, plagued by tuberculosis, Akhmatova eked out a living as a translator until her belated recognition came in the 1960s. This kaleidoscopic selection of her prose includes autobiographical fragments, letters, essays on Pushkin, a rousing 1941 wartime broadcast to the women of Leningrad, diatribes against the Stalinist cultural establishment and encounters with Modigliani, Osip Mandelstam, Marina Tsvetaeva, Boris Pasternak and Alexander Blok. Akhmatova's quicksilver prose registers a resilient personality. Meyer, a Columbia University scholar, provides a useful biographical sketch and notes. Photos. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 12/02/1991
Release date: 12/01/1991
Genre: Fiction
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