During the Soviet era, millions of Soviets - Socialist Revolutionaries, peasants, ordinary citizens, Bolshevik party activists and university students - were denounced, arrested, and imprisoned on fabricated charges of conducting 'anti-state' activities. Till My Tale Is Told recounts the testimonies of women whose family lives and careers were brutally disrupted by the nightmare of false accusation, torture, humiliation, hunger, and unspeakable deprivation. The women in this book were fortunate: unlike several million others, they survived. Published in Moscow in 1989, the narratives collected in this volume were written illegally and for many years hidden away from public view. Although in 1956 political prisoners began to be officially rehabilitated and declared innocent, their writings were repressed as 'slandering the Soviet system'. Although most of the authors were arrested in the Great Purges of the 1930s, the selections span the entire history of the Gulag Archipelago from the 1920s to the late 1940s, adding another sixteen distinctive voices to the accounts published in the west by Yevgenia Ginsburg and Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
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(234mm x 153mm x mm)
Virago Press Ltd
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Many first-hand stories have emerged recently about the opression, false imprisonment and torture of the Stalinist era - testimonies that waited decades to be heard. This volume is particularly moving in that it was first published in Moscow in 1989; the women are talking to their own people, recording their horrendous experiences for the benefit of their descendants. Each narrative opens with a photograph and a brief biography, and over and over again one reads of perfectly ordinary family women whose lives were totally devastated by sudden, inexplicable arrest and imprisonment. Many lost their husbands and children. The women speaking here shared an intense desire to record and survive their experiences, yet even after official rehabilitation in the 1950s, their writings were repressed as 'slandering the Soviet system'. It is only now that we can glimpse the frightening regime in which they were forcibly embroiled, coupled with the extraordinary tenderness, compassion and humanity they managed to maintain in unimaginably barabarous conditions. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Simeon Vilensky
Simeon Vilensky, a former political prisoner and a writer and poet, is founder of Vozvrashchenie, an organisation in Moscow dedicated to preserving and publishing testimonies of Stalin's victims and aiding camp survivors.