Russian Mom Reads

Somehow I missed this book during the Perestroika era.  It was a time of a big change in Russia – the newspapers started criticizing everything they were praising just a day before; new stories were written, new books published … Strangely enough the same faces remained in Kremlin pushing the new politics…

I was a naive and still well brain-washed 10-year old, wearing my red pioneer scarf against all the new propaganda.  Even though I was the hugest fan of Rybakov’s famous children’s novels “The Dirk”, “The Bronze Bird, and “The Shot”, I completely ignored all the fuss about Children Of The Arbat.  

Finally, I set down and read this story of the Moscow intellectual youth during the Stalin’s rule. The novel was written in 1966 and 1983, and published only in 1987.  If you open this book, you will understand why publishing it earlier was unfeasible.

It’s almost impossible to comprehend how a regime, where you could be exiled for a tiny thing, like not publishing an article in a school newspaper, was tolerated by so many people.  Even stranger to know how well the country was brainwashed.  My babushka still remembers crying when Stalin died…


  1. Sally Haig says:

    Thanks for visiting my blog the other day. What do you think about the recent news that a Russian punk band (three women) is being tried in court right now for political incorrectness? I was shocked.

  2. Sara says:

    This sounds really interesting. I remember visiting Novyi Arbat in Moscow (and am thrilled i was able to still read the title of the book in Russian, so at least I haven’t forgotten all my Russian–I’ll read the book in translation though). Thanks!

      • Sara says:

        I took two separate trips to Russia–a few days in St. Petersburg and another week-long trip to Moscow. And it’s not Russia, but I went to Kiev for Easter one year (I used to live in the Czech Republic and later in London so these trips weren’t quite as crazy as flying to Russia for an extended weekend from the US for example!) I just requested this book at the library–I always over-borrow from the library but hopefully I’ll read it–Russian writers are always among my favorites!

    • Anastasia says:

      Not sure if it’s easy to find it in English while in Russia, but it seems that there are a few used ones available on

    • Anastasia says:

      Moscow Saga is even more depressing! I’m finishing up Ulitskaya’s “The Green Tent” – same kind of book about USSR after WWII – if you haven’t read it – I highly recommend!

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