Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia with Pushkin and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age (Hardback)
  • Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia with Pushkin and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age (Hardback)
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Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia with Pushkin and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age (Hardback)

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£20.00
Hardback 304 Pages / Published: 04/07/2019
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Waterstones Says

Following in the footsteps of Russia’s greatest writers, Sarah Wheeler journeys from the Caucasus to Siberia in an attempt to understand how the nation’s creative canon informs the lives of twenty-first century Russians. Mixing contemporary social comment with literary analysis, Mud and Stars is an enlightening examination of how past art shapes future politics.

There is a literal Russian landscape, and there is its emotional, literary counterpart. In Mud and Stars, award-winning writer Sara Wheeler sets out to explore both.

With the writers of the Golden Age as her guides - Pushkin, Tolstoy, Gogol and Turgenev, among others - Wheeler travels across eight time zones, from rinsed north-western beetroot fields and far-eastern Arctic tundra to the cauldron of ethnic soup that is the Caucasus.

She follows nineteenth-century footsteps to make connections between then and now: between the places where flashing-epauletted Lermontov died in the aromatic air of Pyatigorsk, and sheaves of corn still stand like soldiers on a blazing afternoon, just like in Gogol's stories.

On the Trans-Siberian railway in winter she crunches across snowy platforms to buy dried fish from babushki, and in summer she sails the Black Sea where dolphins leapt in front of violet Abkhazian peaks. She also spends months in fourth-floor 1950s apartments, watching television with her hosts, her new friends bent over devices and moaning about Ukraine.

At a time of deteriorating relations between Russia and the West, Wheeler searches for a Russia not in the news - a Russia of humanity and daily struggles. She gives voice to the 'ordinary' people of Russia, and discovers how the writers of the Golden Age continue to represent their country today.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9780224098014
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 517 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 30 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'[A] literary romp in the footsteps of [Russia's "big beast" 19th-century] writers - which does not skimp on detail or seriousness... I approached this book thinking that it would be - along with Elif Batuman's The Possessed and Viv Groskop's The Anna Karenina Fix - the third in a recent hattrick of women's journeys through Russian literature. Wheeler goes beyond these books by travelling to the backwaters of Russia so that we don't have to - we can continue to travel in the comfort of our armchair through the pages of the masterpieces that the great writers left behind.' - The Times

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“Travels with great Russian writers of Golden Age....”

In “War and Peace” Tolstoy ask the question “ Who are we Russians?” . Sara Wheeler follows the footsteps of the great Russian writers of the Golden Age and travels through the country to see it through their eyes.
She... More

Hardback edition
4 similar books recommended
Helpful? Upvote 49

“Interesting”

Following the lives of several Golden Age writers, Wheeler travels up and down and across the wide expanse of Russia, detailing the minutiae of their lives and loves. Often funny, this book offers up a view of Russia... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 21

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