The Girl from the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, translated by Anna Summers


The Girl from the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist RussiaUnfortunately, I hadn’t heard of Ludmilla Petrushevskaya before finding this memoir. It’s one of the problems with how little known Women in Translation are and how little attention is paid to foreign authors in the US. Nevertheless, I came across the memoir last year when looking for some to talk about for Memoir Monday during WIT Month. I hadn’t had the opportunity to read this until this year, though. Okay, I saved it for this WIT Month when last year’s got a little crazy. The point is that I finally listened to the audiobook of this short memoir and it was amazing.

Petrushevskaya had a harrowing childhood in Russia during a period that is known here as being among it’s worst. She was born into a family that always seemed to support the wrong people and the wrong ideas and spent her childhood running from other children and all manner of authority before finally finding herself where she was meant to be. Her story would be considered too implausible as fiction. At the same time, inspirational isn’t quite the right word either. Her grit and spirit are admirable, along with her ability to read a situation as it approaches her.

Upon listening to the book, I found out that she is considered one of the greatest living authors in Russia and realized that I absolutely have to read at least one of her books, but the question became which one? I think I’ll start with There Once Was a Mother Who Loved Her Children Until They All Moved Back In: Three Novellas About Family. We’ll see how it goes.

I borrowed the audiobook from Scribd, but it’s also available from other places. Click here for options at Goodreads and here to purchase from Amazon.

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