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21 November 2018

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Memoir of a Gulag Actress

By Tamara Petkevich, Yasha Klots and Ross Ufberg, translators

This is a deeply affecting memoir of a young woman from a privileged background who, when her father is arrested and judged as an “enemy of the people,” is caught up in the Revolution and purges. She nonetheless went on to become a famous actress, first learning her craft in the gulags of Komi. We were so moved by this book that we will be excerpting a small part of it in the summer issue (#15) of Chtenia. The book, however, deserves a full reading from anyone interested in Russian history and the power of art to preserve life. It is also invaluable for its detailed descriptions of daily life in the 1930s, both inside and outside the camps.

— Paul E. Richardson

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Reviewed in Russian Life: May/June 2011