Genia and Wassily: A Russian-American Memoir

Estelle Leontief, Author Zephyr Press (AZ) $6.95 (80p) ISBN 978-0-939010-11-0
This book would seem to have everything going for it. The author, wife of Wassily Leontief, the 1973 Nobel Prize winner in economics, recounts the arrival in the U.S. in 1939 of her husband's Russian emigre parents, Genia and Wassily Leontief, aristocratic, cultured people who loved music, art, painting, nature, history. Friends of the family enjoy their company, but from the beginning, Estelle, an American by birth, seems overwhelmed by her in-laws, particularly her exuberant, gregarious mother-in-law. (""That devouring rapacity! That conquistadorial genius! I never lost the fear of being clutched and crushed.'') And there is tension in the household until son and daughter-in-law make it clear that the parents should make a life of their own. This is a catalogue of complaints and grudges nursed for nearly 50 years and is thus a grand disappointment. (September)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Genre: Nonfiction
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