THE DESERTED HOUSE by Lydia Chukovskaya


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This book, originally written in the late '30's, refused publication then, appearing now unretouched by the author, is a nco-fictional (the publishers consider it autobiographical) novella, dealing with the ambiguous, anonymous fate of so many who were victims of the time--a time of treason, terrorism, a forbiddingly alien world in which people were interrogated, charged, blacklisted, or Just disappeared, for no reason. Olga Petrovna, a widow, a senior typist in a pool at a Leningrad publishing house, and the mother of Kolya, an irreproachable Komsomol member tells the story which deals, primarily, with Kolya's arrest. After he, is sentenced somewhere, nowhere, she receives a letter from him, pleading for her help to appeal his case and is left to face the hopelessness of her intercession... A residual from the purge literature, this is a quite remarkable, literal (which is not to imply prosaic), transcript of this tragedy of errors, comparable to Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich but with a more direct emotional impact.

Pub Date: Oct. 4th, 1967
Publisher: Dutton