Stalins Children: Three Generations of Love, War, and Survivalby Owen Matthews
On a mid-summer day in 1937, a car pulled up to the house of the Bibikov family in Chernigov in the heart of the Ukraine. Boris, the father, kissed his two daughters and wife goodbye and disappeared inside the car. His family never saw him again. His wife would later vanish, leaving the young Lyudmila and Lenina alone to drift across the vast Russian landscape as the… See more details below
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On a mid-summer day in 1937, a car pulled up to the house of the Bibikov family in Chernigov in the heart of the Ukraine. Boris, the father, kissed his two daughters and wife goodbye and disappeared inside the car. His family never saw him again. His wife would later vanish, leaving the young Lyudmila and Lenina alone to drift across the vast Russian landscape as the Wehrmacht advanced in WWII. In the early 1960s Owen Matthews father, Mervyn, moved to Moscow to work for the British embassy after a childhood in Wales dreaming of Russia. He fell in with the KGB, and in love with Lyudmila, and before he could disentangle himself from the former he was ordered to leave the country. For the next six years, Mervyn tried desperately to get Lyudmila out of Russia, and when he finally succeeded they married. Decades on from these events, their son, now Newsweeks bureau chief in Moscow, pieces together the tangled threads of his familys past and present-the extraordinary files that record the life and death of his grandfather at the hands of Stalins secret police; his mothers and aunts perilous journey to adulthood; his parents Cold War love affair and the magnet that has drawn him back to the Russia-to present an indelible portrait of the country over the past seven decades and an unforgettable memoir about how we struggle to define ourselves in opposition to our ancestry only to find ourselves aligning with it.
- Bloomsbury USA
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Meet the Author
Owen Matthews was born in London and spent part of his childhood in America. He studied Modern History at Oxford University before beginning his career as a journalist in Bosnia. In 1995 he accepted a job at The Moscow Times, a daily English-language newspaper. He also freelanced for a number of publications including the Times, the Spectator and the Independent. In 1997, he became a correspondent at Newsweek magazine in Moscow where he covered the second Chechen war, as well as politics and society. Owen was also one of the first journalists to witness the start of the U.S. bombing in the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan, 2001, and went on to cover the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Owen is currently Newsweeks bureau chief in Moscow, where he lives with his wife and two children.
Owen Matthews was born in London in 1971. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he read Modern History. He began his career as a foreign correspondent in Budapest, Sarajevo and Belgrade during the Bosnian civil war, working for a number of publications including The Times and Sunday Times, Daily and Sunday Telegraph, the Spectator, the Guardian, the Observer, Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, and the Independent. In 1995 he moved to Moscow and became a correspondent for Newsweek Magazine, covering conflicts in Lebanon, Afghanistan and Chechnya. In 2001 Owen moved to Istanbul and reported from Turkey, the Caucasus, Syria and Iran, as well as covering US-led invasions of Afghanistan and then Iraq. From 2006 to 2012 he was Newsweeks Moscow Bureau Chief.
Owens first book on Russian history was Stalins Children, a family memoir, which was published to great critical acclaim in 2008. The book was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Orwell Prize for political writing, and selected as one of the Books of the Year by the Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph and the Spectator. It has been translated into twenty-eight languages and was shortlisted for Frances Medici Prize and French Elle Magazines Grand Prix Litteraire, as well as being selected as one of the FNAC chains twenty featured titles for the Rentree Litteraire of 2009.
Owen is currently a contributing editor for Newsweek magazine, based in Istanbul and Moscow.
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