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Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva
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Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

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Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary And Tumultuous Life Of Svetlana Alliluyeva

Winner of the Plutarch Award for Best Biography National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist PEN Literary Award Finalist New York Times Notable Book Washington Post Notable Book Boston Globe Best Book of the Year The award-winning author of Villa Air-Bel returns with a painstakingly researched, revelatory biography of Svetlana Stalin, a woman fated to live her life in the shadow of one of history’s most monstrous dictators—her father, Josef Stalin. Born in the early years of the Soviet Union, Svetlana Stalin spent her youth inside the walls of the Kremlin. Communist Party privilege protected her from the mass starvation and purges that haunted Russia, but she did not escape tragedy—the loss of everyone she loved, including her mother, two brothers, aunts and uncles, and a lover twice her age, deliberately exiled to Siberia by her father. As she gradually learned about the extent of her father’s brutality after his death, Svetlana could no longer keep quiet and in 1967 shocked the world by defecting to the United States—leaving her two children behind. But although she was never a part of her father’s regime, she could not escape his legacy. Her life in America was fractured; she moved frequently, married disastrously, shunned other Russian exiles, and ultimately died in poverty in Wisconsin. With access to KGB, CIA, and Soviet government archives, as well as the close cooperation of Svetlana’s daughter, Rosemary Sullivan pieces together Svetlana’s incredible life in a masterful account of unprecedented intimacy. Epic in scope, it’s a revolutionary biography of a woman doomed to be a political prisoner of her father’s name. Sullivan explores a complicated character in her broader context without ever losing sight of her powerfully human story, in the process opening a closed, brutal world that continues to fascinate us. Illustrated with photographs.

Harper Perennial

Harper Perennial

Rosemary Sullivan

Rosemary Sullivan

No of Pages
624
Publisher
Harper Perennial
ISBN-13
9780062206121
Awards
None
Book Format
Paperback
Published Date
Jun 21, 2016

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Author InterviewInterview with Rosemary Sullivan 

Interview Date : Jul 29, 2016

Please sign up to listen entire interview of at least 45 min.

Interview Summary

What may have been a privileged life for others turned into an ever-ending struggle for Svetlana Alliluyeva. Behind the high Kremlin walls or on the streets of New Delhi, Joseph Stalin’s daughter had one mission – to shake off her father’s legacy and find her true self. Followed by the powerful presence of one of history’s most complex personalities, she considered herself a “political prisoner” even when she defected to the United States in 1967.

Canadian poet and biographer Rosemary Sullivan offers an intimate portrait of a sensitive, quintessentially Russian woman who longed to find peace in her 85 year-long life.

 

Key Topics

  • What kind of father was Joseph Stalin?
  • What were the living conditions in the Soviet Union in the 1930s through the 1960s?
  • Why did Svetlana Alliluyeva decide to defect at the height of the Cold War?
  • +

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Defection
PART ONE: The Kremlin Years
PART TWO: The Soviet Reality
PART THREE: Flight to America
PART FOUR: Learning to Live in the West
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About Rosemary Sullivan

Biographer and poet Rosemary Sullivan is a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto. Her 14 books include the critically acclaimed Villa Air-Bel: World War IIEscape and a House in Marseille and Labyrinth of Desire: Women, Passion and Romantic ObsessionShadow Maker, her biography of Gwendolyn MacEwen, won the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction. She has been the recipient of Guggenheim, Trudeau, and Jackman Fellowships and was awarded the Lorne Pierce Medal by the Royal Society for her contributions to Literature and Culture. In 2012 she became an Officer of the Order of Canada.

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