Till My Tale Is Told

Till My Tale Is Told

Women’s Memoirs of the Gulag
Edited by Simeon Vilensky
Translated by John Crowfoot, Marjorie Farquharson, Catriona Kelly, Sally Laird, and Cathy Porter
Distribution: World
Publication date: 10/23/2001
Format: paper 376 pages, 17 b&w photos
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-21476-8
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2000 Heldt Prize for Best Translation, AWSS
"How extraordinary it is that compassion and tenderness may flourish in the cruellest conditions; how stubbornly and bravely people survive them. This is not a depressing book but an inspiriting and encouraging one." —Doris Lessing

"The sixteen life stories are riveting. . . . testimony to the complexity of the human spirit[,] to miracles of survival and endurance in the most hellish of conditions. . . .
Till My Tale Is Told remind[s] us of the importance of remembrance and testimony about this particularly brutal chapter of human history."
—The Women’s Review of Books

Arrest, interrogation, imprisonment, trial and sentencing, transport, labor camps, internal exile, sometimes release, often followed by re-arrest and re-imprisonment and, for those who outlived Stalin, eventual reprieve and rehabilitation these are the outlines of the experiences recorded by 16 courageous Russian women whose moving testimonies, most of them written in secret and at great personal risk, are presented here.

Reviews

"Till My Tale Is Told is a translation and condensation of a Russian work published in the Soviet Union in 1989. Intended to be the first in series of collections, this volume was devoted to women's memoirs because they offered a humanly approachable introduction to a horrific and alien world. Many of the contributors knew each other, at least slightly, and the work gives some feeling of being a collaborative effort. Only a few selections describe the entire experience of arrest, interrogation, and serving the sentence. Some tell of just a single episode or two, while others consist of poetry. Particularly interesting are the prisoners' attempts to understand the catastrophe that had overtaken them. Read consecutively, the collection is a moving and disturbing experience. In most cases, however, instructors will want to assign just one or two selections in classes. Researchers will want to consult the Russian version or the original manuscripts, which are available in Moscow and Amsterdam. Each selection has a useful biographical introduction, and the translations are all excellent. All in all, a very useful addition to the English-language sources on the history of Soviet repression. All levels." —J. Zimmerman, University of Pittsburgh , 2000apr CHOICE.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Russian Edition by Simeon Vilensky
Preface to the English Edition by Simeon Vilensky
1. Olga Adamova-Sliozberg, My Journey
2. Yelena Vladimirova, From “Kolyma: A Narrative Poem”
3. Bertha Babina-Nevskaya, My First Prison, February 1922
4. Nadezhda Grankina, Notes by Your Contemporary
5. Veronica Znamenskaya, To This Day
6. Vera Shulz, Taganka
7. Galina Zatmilova, A Part of History
8. Nadezhda Surovtseva, Memoirs of Kolyma
9. Yelena Sidorkina, Years Under Guard
10. Zoya Marchenko, How it Was
11. Anna Barkova, Selected Poems
12. Tamara Petkevich, Just One Fate
13. Tatyana Leshchenko-Sukhomlina, Selections from “My Guitar”
14. Hava Volovich, My Past
15. Nadezhda Kanel, A Meeting at the Lubyanka
16. Zayara Vesyolaya, 7-35
Afterword by John Crowfoot
Important Dates
Glossary
Index