Author(s): Elaine Feinstein
Anna Akhmatova is recognised as one of the greatest poets of Russian literature, an iconic figure who gave voice to the suffering of the Russian people during the brutal years of Stalin's Terror. Akhmatova began writing at a time when 'to think of a woman as a poet was absurd' but her genius soared above any such category. Hailed as a great beauty, she married three times yet her personal life was shot through with tragedy and her only son and third husband were held captive in the Gulags. Through illness, poverty and repression she maintained her resistance to the regime, with a dignity and composure that led her to be dubbed 'Anna of all the Russias'. First published 2005.
Elaine Feinstein is a hugely respected and award-winning author and poet. Her biography of Ted Hughes sold over 30,000 copies. Set during the Stalin era - a period in Russian history that holds enduring interest - this is also a wildly romantic story about a poet who became an icon 'Eminently readable...Akhmatova is a figure that Russians turn to again and again, the better to understand their own history. Feinstein has done English-speaking readers a great favour by making Akhmatova's life story and therefore her poetry, more accessible than ever before' Anne Applebaum, Spectator 'Elaine Feinstein has managed to write a biography that is both scholarly and emotive...[she] is completely at home with the physical and literary map of St Petersburg...As a poet herself, Feinstein is adept at showing just why and how Akhmatova's unique voice has intoxicated readers' Olivia Cole, Independent on Sunday Akhmatova's verse is available in Penguin and Canongate editions
"She does make Akhmatova seem alive." INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY "the image she paints of her subject, the faded aristocrat scrabbling for food, warmth and cigarettes in post-revolution Russia is immensely powerful, and her admiration for the poet shines through." SUNDAY TIMES "Elaine Feinstein, with much detail, tells the story again, offering her own translations of some of Akhmatova's verse." SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
Elaine Feinstein is a prize-winning poet, novelist and biographer. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1980 and her work has been translated into many languages. She is the author of highly praised lives of Pushkin and Ted Hughes (the first biography).