Hope Against Hope: A Memoir

( 3 )

Overview

Hope Against Hope was first published in English in 1970. It is Nadezhda Mandelstam's memoir of her life with Osip, who was first arrested in 1934 and died in Stalin's Great Purge of 1937-38. Hope Against Hope is a vital eyewitness account of Stalin's Soviet Union and one of the greatest testaments to the value of literature and imaginative freedom ever written. But it is also a profound inspiration - a love story that relates the daily struggle to keep both love and art alive ...
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Overview

Hope Against Hope was first published in English in 1970. It is Nadezhda Mandelstam's memoir of her life with Osip, who was first arrested in 1934 and died in Stalin's Great Purge of 1937-38. Hope Against Hope is a vital eyewitness account of Stalin's Soviet Union and one of the greatest testaments to the value of literature and imaginative freedom ever written. But it is also a profound inspiration - a love story that relates the daily struggle to keep both love and art alive in the most desperate circumstances.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"        Nothing one can say will either communicate or affect the genius of this book. To pass judgment on it is almost insolence—even judgment that is merely celebration and homage."
—George Steiner, The New Yorker

"        Surely the most luminous account we have—or are likely to get—of life in the Soviet Union during the purges of the 1930's."
—Olga Carlisle, The New York Times Book Review

"        No work on Russia which I have recently read has given me so sensitive and searing an insight into the hellhouse which Russia became under Stalin as this dedicated and brilliant work on the poet Mandelstam by his devoted wife."
—Harrison E. Salisbury

Of the eighty-one years of her life, Nadezhda Mandelstam spent nineteen as the wife of Russia's greatest poet in this century, Osip Mandelstam, and forty-two as his widow. The rest was childhood and youth."
                So writes Joseph Brodsky in his appreciation of Nadezhda Mandelstam that is reprinted here as an Introduction. Hope Against Hope was first published in English in 1970. It is Nadezhda Mandelstam's memoir of her life with Osip, who was first arrested in 1934 and died in Stalin's Great Purge of 1937-38. Hope Against Hope is a vital eyewitness account of Stalin's Soviet Union and one of the greatest testaments to the value of literature and imaginative freedom ever written. But it is also a profound inspiration—a love story that relates the daily struggle to keep both love and art alive in the most desperate circumstances.

Nadezhda Mandelstam was born in Saratov in 1899. She met Osip Mandelstam in 1919. She is also the author of Hope Abandoned (1974). She died in 1980. Nadezhda means "hope" in Russian.

George Steiner
Nothing one can say will either communicate or affect the genius of this book. To pass judgement on it is almost insolence&#151even judgement that is merely celebration and homage.... It leaves one richer, more hopeful than one has a right to be.
New Yorker
Faubion Bowers
So churning in its impact, so tearfully brave and enduring, so horrifying and yet so intelligent that no one of sensibility dare deny himself knowing it.
Village Voice
Olga Carlisle
Surely the most luminous account we have—or are likely to get—of life in the Soviet Union during the purges of the 1930's.
New York Times Book Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375753169
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/1999
  • Series: Modern Library Series
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 642,037
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.46 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Introduction

Amounts to a Day of Judgement on earth for her age.... Her memories are something more than a testimony to her times; they are a view of history in the light of conscience and culture.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 31, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Moving Classic

    Nadezhda (her name means "hope") Mandelstam's account of her enduring relationship with her husband, the poet Osip Mandelstam, is both a sobering and moving account of life under Stalin's reign of terror. She writes this account as a memoir, a loosely connected narrative in a series of chapter vignettes. And it is a brutally honest, enthralling tale of an extraordinary time and how people coped -- or didn't. Written years later, after her husband's death in the camps, the late Nadezhda ends on a surprisingly hopeful and positive note, c. 1970. But I wonder what she would make of Putin's Russia?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2003

    A great poet and a greater wife

    This book is a tremendously moving memoir. It is the story of great love and dedication of the author Nadezhda Mandelstam to her husband Osip,to his poetry and to its memory.She kept his poetry safe in her mind and heart when all the external world threatened to destroy it. Their suffering under the terror of Stalin, is documented here in a powerful way. This is the kind of book which makes you feel life and literature is perhaps something greater than you yourself have ever known. It at one and the same time humbles and uplifts. This work should be read by all those who love great literature.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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