KYRA: Reminiscences of a Girlhood in Soviet Russia by Kyra Karadja

KYRA: Reminiscences of a Girlhood in Soviet Russia

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This reconstruction of the pseudonymous author's diaries of her adolescence in Russia reads like a novel. It opens in the idyllic pre-war summer of 1914, when the author was a little girl on her father's estate outside St. Petersburg, and portrays with apparent verisimilitude the state of mind of a young person just coming to awareness both of herself and the mad world into which she had been plunged. In 1917 she had never heard the word ""revolution;"" soon it had her in exile in Georgia (and later, Armenia); by 1924, revolution was something one accepted along with poverty, executions, and a constant subliminal state of fear--life had to go on. Kyra's life went on with a kind of impassioned vengeance born at least partly of despair, a long string of infatuations and semi.love affairs, usually with tortured young men unable to reciprocate her feelings (and who were sometimes subsequently arrested or shot), until she was nearly arrested following a raid on an opium den. Then, as always, the author was relatively lucky: the Soviets never physically harmed her or her family (though her father was reduced to a shoemaker before his death), she and her sister had the money and the means to get out before the Stalinist terror began in earnest. . . . A youthful and empathic coda to the Revolution.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Morrow