Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia with Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age

Category: Nonfiction


Posted on 2019-11-09, by selverine.

Description


With the writers of the Golden Age as her guides—Pushkin, Tolstoy, Gogol, and Turgenev, among others—Sara Wheeler searches for a Russia not in the news, traveling from rinsed northwestern beet fields and the Far Eastern Arctic tundra to the cauldron of nation­alities, religions, and languages in the Caucasus. Bypassing major cities as much as possible, she goes instead to the places associated with the country’s literary masters. With her, we see the fabled Trigorskoye (“three hills”) estate that Pushkin frequented during his exile, now preserved in his honor. We look for Dostoevsky along the waters of Lake Ilmen, site of the only house the restless writer ever owned. We pay tribute to the single stone that remains of Tol­stoy’s birthplace. Wheeler weaves these writers’ lives and works around their historical homes, giving us rich portraits of the many diverse Russias from which these writers spoke.
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