Generations of Winter

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Vintage, Mar 21, 1995 - Fiction - 608 pages
19 Reviews
Written in the great tradition of epic Russian fiction, Generations of Winter is a magnificent saga that captures one of the most fascinating chapters in modern history - the Soviet Union in the years 1925 to 1945. Breathtaking in its scope, masterful in its command of historical events and its understanding of timeless human truths, the novel has been likened to a twentieth-century War and Peace, and it marks a bold and brilliant departure for celebrated Russian author Vassily Aksyonov. At the center of this vast panoramic work is the genteel Gradov family. Patriarch Boris is an esteemed surgeon, his wife, Mary, a pianist, has two great passions - her family and the music of Chopin. Their elder son, Nikita, is a dashing officer in the Red Army, their younger son, Kirill, is a philosopher and devout Marxist, and their daughter, Nina, is a free-spirited poet with a dangerous tendency to speak her mind. Propelled by their loves, ambitions, and beliefs, the Gradovs cross paths with such historical figures as Joseph Stalin and head of the secret police Lavrenty Beria, who are brought unforgettably to life in these pages. As Stalin's power grows in the 1930s, the Soviet Union is plunged into a period of unprecedented intrigue, paranoia, and oppression, and the Gradovs suffer their share of tragedy. When the nation is caught up in the tidal wave of the Second World War, we follow the family through episodes of heroism and betrayal, victory and loss, on the battlefield and the home front alike. Supremely ambitious, artistically daring, deeply satisfying, Generations of Winter is a modern classic.

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Review: Generations of Winter

User Review  - Lawrence - Goodreads

I had read "Generations of Winter" in the 90's close to when it came out. Many scenes from this book remained with me. Now I've read it the second time and enjoyed it again. I think its weakness is ... Read full review

Review: Generations of Winter

User Review  - Goodreads

Quite the long saga, but soapy enough if you're looking for a long book that will last you through a few long-haul flights. I read most of this while in Moscow, so it was fun to be able to have a sense of place while reading the book. Read full review

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Scythian Helmets
The Kremlin and Its Neighborhood
First Intermission

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About the author (1995)

A leading Soviet writer, Vassily Aksyonov was forced to emigrate from the Soviet Union in 1980 after frequent clashes with government authorities made it increasingly difficult for him to publish there. After his emigration, Aksyonov lived in Fairfax, Virginia, and was a professor at George Mason University. He died in 2009 at the age of 76.

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