LENINGRAD, Dalkey Archive Press, 2013

Igor Vishnevetsky´s LENINGRAD translated by Andrew Blomfield has just been released in English by Dalkey Archive Press.

Closing the gap between the contemporary Russian novel and the masterpieces of the early Soviet avant-garde, this masterful mixture of prose and poetry, excerpts from private letters and diaries, and quotes from newspapers and NKVD documents, is a unique amalgam of documentary, philosophical novel, and black humor. Revolving around three central characters—a composer; his lover, Vera; and Vera's husband, a naval officer intercepting enemy communications—we are made witness to the inhuman conditions prevailing during the Siege of Leningrad, against a background of starvation and continuous bombing. In their wild attempts to survive, the protagonists hold on to their art, ideals, and sentiments—hoping that these might somehow remain uncorrupted despite the Bolsheviks, Nazis, and even death itself.

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