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The Book of Anna

The Book of Anna
  • Author(s): Carmen Boullosa
  • Location(s): St Petersburg (Leningrad)
  • Genre(s): Fiction
  • Era(s): Early 20th Century

Saint Petersburg, 1905. Behind the gates of the Karenin Palace, Sergei, son of Anna Karenina, meets Tolstoy in his dreams and finds reminders of his mother everywhere: the vivid portrait that the tsar intends to acquire and the opium-infused...

Aetherial Worlds

Aetherial Worlds
  • Author(s): Tatyana Tolstaya
  • Location(s): St Petersburg (Leningrad)
  • Genre(s): Short Stories
  • Era(s): ariousV

Ordinary realities and yearnings to transcend them lead to miraculous other worlds in this dazzling collection of stories. A woman’s deceased father appears in her dreams with clues about the afterlife; a Russian professor in a small American town...

St Petersburg: Three Centuries of Murderous Desire

St Petersburg: Three Centuries of Murderous Desire
  • Author(s): Jonathan Miles
  • Location(s): St Petersburg (Leningrad)
  • Genre(s): Historical, Nonfiction
  • Era(s): 1700s onwards

St Petersburg has always felt like an impossible metropolis, risen from the freezing mists and flooded marshland of the River Neva on the western edge of Russia. It was a new capital in an old country. Established in 1703...

The Overcoat and Other Short Stories

The Overcoat and Other Short Stories
  • Author(s): Nikolai Gogol
  • Location(s): St Petersburg (Leningrad)
  • Genre(s): Short Stories
  • Era(s): Various

Four works by great 19th-century Russian author: “The Nose,” a savage satire of Russia’s incompetent bureaucrats; “Old-Fashioned Farmers,” a pleasant depiction of an elderly couple living in rustic seclusion; “The Tale of How Ivan Ivanovich Quarrelled with Ivan Nikiforovich,”...

The Girl from the Hermitage

The Girl from the Hermitage
  • Author(s): Molly Gartland
  • Location(s): St Petersburg (Leningrad)
  • Genre(s): Fiction
  • Era(s): 1940s/1980s

It is December 1941, and eight-year-old Galina and her friend Vera are caught in the siege of Leningrad, eating soup made of wallpaper, with the occasional luxury of a dead rat. Galina’s artist father Mikhail has been kept away...

The Raven’s Children

The Raven’s Children
  • Author(s): Yulia Yakovleva
  • Location(s): St Petersburg (Leningrad)
  • Genre(s): Children
  • Era(s): Late 1930s

Russia in 1938 is a place of great terror. Joseph Stalin is in charge. His Secret Police are everywhere, searching for anyone who might be his enemy. People have no idea who they can trust. Seven-year-old Shura doesn’t know...

Angel on the Square

Angel on the Square
  • Author(s): Gloria Whelan
  • Location(s): St Petersburg (Leningrad)
  • Genre(s): Fiction, Historical, Young Adult
  • Era(s): 1914

In the fall of 1914, safe behind palace walls, Katya Ivanova sees St. Petersburg as a magical place. The daughter of a lady-in-waiting to the Empress, Katya spends all her time with the Grand Duchesses; the royal family feels...

Hunger

Hunger
  • Author(s): Elise Blackwell
  • Location(s): St Petersburg (Leningrad)
  • Genre(s): Fiction
  • Era(s): 1941

When German troops surround Leningrad and cut off food supplies in the fall of 1941, no one imagines that the siege will last 900 long days and take hundreds of thousands of lives. As the first “hunger winter” sets...

The Romanov Bride

The Romanov Bride
  • Author(s): Robert Alexander
  • Location(s): St Petersburg (Leningrad)
  • Genre(s): Fiction, Historical
  • Era(s): pre-Russian revolution

As the Russia of Nicholas and Aleksandra rushes full speed toward catastrophe, The Romanov Bride follows the lives of two revolutionary souls, that of Grand Duchess Elisavyeta (or Ella), sister of the tsaritsa Aleksandra, and that of Pavel, a...

Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment
  • Author(s): Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Location(s): St Petersburg (Leningrad)
  • Genre(s): Fiction, Crime
  • Era(s): early 19th century

Dostoyevsky’s great novel of damnation and redemption evokes a world where the lines between innocence and corruption, good and evil, blur. It tells the story of Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, who wanders through the slums of...

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