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The Road to Rome

Published by Glas New Russian Writing

ISBN: 9785717200691

£8.99
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Pskov monk and writer Filofei, in his letters to the Grand Duke Vassily III, wrote that “Moscow is the Third Rome… Two Romes fell, the third stands, and there will never be a fourth."

Nominated for the Russian Booker Prize in 1995, The Road to Rome is actually less a novel than a collection of reminiscences about real events. Nikolai Klimontovich, like most Russian intellectuals of his generation, suffered from a “confinement complex”, lacking the freedom to travel and see the world. His way of breaking out of stifling Soviet reality and into an exotic and forbidden world was through picaresque encounters with women from the West; tales of these encounters are the theme of The Road to Rome, his bestselling book.

The appeal of this volume, vividly translated into English by Frank Williams, is not only in its infectious eroticism and wit, but also in its masterful portrayal of Soviet Russia in the 1970s and 1980s through a multitude of acutely observed details.

Born in 1951, Klimontovich made a living as a reporter before becoming the prize-winning novelist and playwright he is today. Many of his earlier works never passed the Soviet censors and were rejected by publishers and journals alike on grounds of their “erroneous aesthetic and ideological views.” Instead he was widely circulated in the samizdat (in the USSR) and published by tamizdat (abroad). Because of this he was constantly under KGB scrutiny – appearance in émigré periodicals was considered a crime in the USSR.
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