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The Girl from the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia

The Girl from the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia - Ludmilla Petrushevskaya This is an account of Ludmilla Petrushevaskaya's personal life and experiences growing up in Stalin's Communist Russia. A slim volume of only 149 pages that is unsentimental, vivid and interesting and you cant but help admiring Ludmilla Petrushevaskaya and her feisty personality.

Born in 1938 in Moscow's Metropol Hotel, the city's most famed residential building(also called the house of Soviets because its rooms were occupied by the old Bolsheviks). Born into a family of Bolshevik intellectuals deemed enemies of the people therefore a lot of her early childhood was spent on the streets foraging in neighbours garbage and living a wild child existence. With great feisty and determination she survived the hardships to become one of Russia's best living writers.

The book is translated by Anna Summers and I especially liked her introduction and the following passage.
. The child in her book like all children has been endowed with gifts from two fairies, an evil one and a kind one. The evil fairy a definite heavyweight, took away the child's home, her mother, her father, her clothes, her toys, her food, and her civil rights, leaving her without shoes in Wintertime. The kind fairy, doing what she could gave the child excellent health, mental resilience a hunger for beauty and culture an unerring ethical compass and an array of talents..

A well written and interesting glimpse of the author's life told in simple prose and accompanied with numerous photos depicting landmarks in Moscow and images of the author and her family.