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“Gillian Slovo's epic account of the siege of Leningrad told many from the point of view of female characters”
#7 of 10 from Ten books about Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union by
Ice Road: A Novel
About this book


South African novelist and playwright Slovo--Red Dust(2001)--delivers a chilling historical novel about a group of Soviets living in Leningrad between the world wars. The tale opens with the observations of Irina Davydovna, a simple cleaning woman who survived the sinking of theChelyuskin(an actual research ship that became ice-bound on its way to the Arctic in 1933). Irina delivers devastating descriptions of the Soviet Union--Stalin's military purges, the murder of Leningrad Chief Sergei Mironovich Kirov, the desperation of citizens in the clutches of an oppressive political regime. The novel loses steam when it switches to third-person narrative, highlighting the precarious personalities that populate Irina's life. Among them: her employer Boris Alexsandrovich, a government official torn between loyalty to his family and loyalty to the state; moody intellectual Anton Antonovich; and a fearless orphan named Anya. While Slovo's narrative may be uneven, her prose is luminous, evoking a landscape as cold and deadly as an ice pick to the heart.Allison Block
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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ISBN-10: 0393327205
ISBN-13: 978-0393327205
Author: Gillian Slovo
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
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