The Girl from the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia, by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (Fiction)
Born across the street from the Kremlin in the opulent Metropol Hotel—the setting of the New York Times bestselling novel A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles—Ludmilla Petrushevskaya grew up in a family of Bolshevik intellectuals who were reduced in the wake of the Russian Revolution to waiting in bread lines. In The Girl from the Metropol Hotel, her prizewinning memoir, she recounts her childhood of extreme deprivation—of wandering the streets like a young Edith Piaf, singing for alms, and living by her wits like Oliver Twist, a diminutive figure far removed from the heights she would attain as an internationally celebrated writer. As she unravels the threads of her itinerant upbringing—of feigned orphandom, of sleeping in freight cars and beneath the dining tables of communal apartments, of the fugitive pleasures of scraps of food—we see, both in her remarkable lack of self-pity and in the two dozen photographs throughout the text, her feral instinct and the crucible in which her gift for giving voice to a nation of survivors was forged.
The Moscow-born Petrushevskaya is regarded as one of Russia's most prominent contemporary writers, whose writing combines postmodernist trends with the psychological insights and parodic touches of writers such as Anton Chekhov. Over the last few decades, she has been one of the most acclaimed contemporary writers at work in Eastern Europe; Publishers Weekly has called her "one of the finest living Russian writers".
Our book club evenings go something like this:
7:00-7:30pm Connecting, time for drinks/food
7:30-8:30pm Book discussion
8:30-9:00pm Logistics (selecting the next book and planning the next meeting)
Join us for a fun evening!
If you're curious about which books we've been reading, click here.