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Letters from St. Petersburg
     

Letters from St. Petersburg

by Victoria Hammond
 

With its shimmering palaces and decaying mansions, enchanted forests and basements full of Soviet art, the history of St. Petersburg comes alive in this memoir of one art devotee's journey to reveal the strength and wonder behind Russia's crumbling facades. These writings reflect the author's experiences in the artistic landscapes she inhabits, from the eerie

Overview


With its shimmering palaces and decaying mansions, enchanted forests and basements full of Soviet art, the history of St. Petersburg comes alive in this memoir of one art devotee's journey to reveal the strength and wonder behind Russia's crumbling facades. These writings reflect the author's experiences in the artistic landscapes she inhabits, from the eerie beauty of Dostoevski's streets on a white night to stories of struggling artists and dignified intellectuals eking out existences in claustrophobic studio apartments. A compelling immersion into the Russia of today, this travel narrative shows St. Petersberg to be a city of ghosts and illusions where past and present and reality and fiction are inextricably fused.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Vivid, sensitive, and intelligent." —Library Journal

"The most vividly rendered and intellectually engaging travel memoir I have read this year."  —San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Chronicle
"The most vividly rendered and intellectually engaging travel memoir I have read this year."
Library Journal
St. Petersburg is a city filled with huge contradictions,a place where gracious palaces, world art, and elegant 19th-century buildings vie with Stalin-era derelict apartments, poor utilities, and demanding working conditions. Australian museum curator Hammond (Completing the Picture: Women Artists and the Heidelberg Era) traveled to St. Petersburg to curate an exhibit of aboriginal art. During her stay, she befriended a lively assortment of artists and their families, who treated her with overwhelming hospitality and warmth. Although she had only a rudimentary knowledge of Russian, these friends made her feel part of their life and culture. Letters is divided into 13 chapters that each focuses on a particular experience: a subway ride, a visit to the zoo, the reconstruction of a spectacular palace. Hammond's photographs-nine color and 15 black-and-white in all-underscore these letters' vivid, sensitive, and intelligent prose. Readers will learn much about St. Petersburg by reading this insightful and poignant memoir-this reviewer discovered more about the former Russian capital here than in her four-day stay there. Definitely recommended for travel and history collections in public and academic libraries.-Olga B. Wise, Austin, TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781741143386
Publisher:
Allen & Unwin Pty., Limited
Publication date:
10/28/2005
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.97(d)

Meet the Author


Victoria Hammond is the author of A Century of Australian Women Artists and Completing the Picture: Women Artists and the Heidelberg Era. She is a former director of the Shepparton Art Gallery and guest curator at the National Gallery of Victoria where she curated numerous national exhibitions.

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