A Russian American writer catapults herself into the maelstrom of Russian life at a time of seismic change for both The daughter of Russian AcmigrAcs, Ingrid Bengis grew up wondering whether she was American or, deep down, qreally Russian.q In 1991, naAmvely in love with Russia and Russian literature, she settled in St. Petersburg, where she was quickly immersed in qcatastroika, q a period of immense turmoil that mirrored her own increasingly complex and contradictory experience. Bengis's account of her involvement with Russia is heightened by her involvement with B, a Russian whose collapsing marriage, paralleling the collapse of the Soviet Union, produces a situation in which qanything could happen.q Their relationship reflects the social tumult, as well as the sometimes dangerous consequences of American qgood intentions.q As Bengis takes part in Russian life-becoming a reluctant entrepreneur, undergoing surgery in a St. Petersburg hospital, descending into a coal mine-she becomes increasingly aware of its Dostoevskian duality, never more so than when she meets the impoverished, importuning great-great-granddaughter of the writer himself. Beneath the seismic shifting remains a centuries-old preoccuption with qthe big questionsq: tradition and progress, destiny and activism, skepticism and faith. With its elaborate pattern of digression and its eye for the revealing detail, Bengis's account has the hypnotic intimacy of a late-night conversation in a Russian kitchen, where such questions are perpetually being asked.She will introduce her to the director of the museum and show her eighty-year-old shawls. They will stay in Tartar homes and ... an Olivetti manual typewriter, and a Singer sewing machine from the seventies. No bank account, and no cash.
|Title||:||Metro Stop Dostoevsky|
|Publisher||:||Macmillan - 2003-05-14|