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Marina Tsvetaeva: To Die in Yelabuga (The French List)

Marina Tsvetaeva: To Die in Yelabuga (The French List)

Current price: $21.00
Publication Date: December 20th, 2022
Seagull Books
Special Order - Subject to Availability


A biographic novel that captures the tempestuous and moving life of the poet Marina Tsvetaeva.

The life of Marina Tsvetaeva (1892–1941) coincided with turbulent years in Russian history. She was an eminent Russian poet and a passionate lover involved with several men at the same time, including Rilke, who chose Lou Andreas-Salomé over her, and Pasternak, who married someone else, but protected her until her death. Her life included many trials such as her poverty during the grueling Russian civil war, her young daughter’s death from hunger in an orphanage, and the death of her husband, who fought against the Communist regime and was executed by the Soviet state. Rejected by official poets, then by the wealthy Russian diaspora in France, she finally returned to her country to end her wandering life. She hanged herself from a rope in an attic from which she could see the field where she had dug with bare hands for potatoes abandoned by local farmers. A poet-martyr of the Stalinist era—buried in an unmarked plot in the cemetery of Yelabuga—Tsvetaeva is brought to life in this poetic biographical novel by celebrated Lebanese author Vénus Khoury-Ghata.

About the Author

Vénus Khoury-Ghata is a Lebanese poet and novelist. She is the author of many collections of poems and novels, including The Last Days of Mandelstam and Marina Tsvetaeva: To Die in Yelabuga. Her work has been widely translated, and she was named a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 2000.

Teresa Lavender Fagan is a freelance translator living in Chicago; she has translated numerous books for the University of Chicago Press and other publishers.

Praise for Marina Tsvetaeva: To Die in Yelabuga (The French List)

"Designed to offer insight into the thoughts and feelings of the subject, renowned Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva. . . Short chapters propel the story forward with a compelling, relentless momentum, pointing to the ruthless operation of the Stalinist state following Tsvetaeva's family's ill-fated decision to return from exile."
— The Gay and Lesbian Review