Till My Tale Is Told

Till My Tale Is Told

Women’s Memoirs of the Gulag
Simeon Vilensky, John Crowfoot, Marjorie Farquharson, Catriona Kelly, Sally Laird and Cathy Porter
Distribution: World
Publication date: 11/13/2001
Format: Paperback 17 b&w photos
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

... probably the most gripping and detailed addition to the famous fundamental work by Solzhenitsyn. This book should be read by everybody... " —The Spectator

... a fascinating, brave and in many ways heartening book... "
—Times Literary Supplement

A moving and powerful human and historical document. The emotional and moral strength of these women who lost many years of their lives to the organized cruelties of the Gulag, and who, as they say, represent the many who did not return, is an unforgettable lesson for our time." —Robert Conquest

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 Russian women whose moving testimonies, most of them written in secret and at great personal risk, are presented here. Besides their value as historical documentation, these memoirs testify to the decency and compassion of their authors, maintained in resistance to a cruel and dehumanizing system.

The following summary of one of the memoirs, from a review of the Russian edition in the Times Literary Supplement, gives a sense of the power and poignancy of these intensely human eye-witness accounts:

Olga Adamova[-Sliozberg] was arreste

Author Bio

Simeon Vilensky, a former political prisoner, a writer, and a poet, is founder of Vozvrashchenie, an organization in Moscow dedicated to preserving and publishing testimonies of Stalin's victims and aiding camp survivors.

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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