Abacus £10.99 (472pp) £9.89 (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop : 08430 600 030
The Forsaken, By Tim Tzouliadis
Friday 18 September 2009
Impelled by reasons ranging from unemployment to the blinkered cajoling of GBS, thousands of Americans left for Stalin's Russia.
Tzouliadis tells their unknown story through baseball player Thomas Sgovio, who was attracted in 1935 by Russia's brief-lived baseball mania. After realising his mistake, the 21-year-old applied to the American Embassy for help in repatriation and was snatched by the NKVD.
Betrayed by a fellow American, a journalist called Lucy Flaxman, Sgovio was transported to a labour camp at Kolyma in the frozen northeast of Siberia. He was released 10 years later in 1947, only to be re-arrested.
Eventually permitted to leave Russia in 1960, Sgovio passed his final days in Phoenix, Arizonia. Plaiting the opposing poles of human nature – optimistic naivety and implacable brutality – Tzouliadis's book is both terrifying and uplifting. CH
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 3 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 4 Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
Great British Bake Off 2014: Diana Beard quits after falling ill
Great British Bake Off 2014: Ofcom receives 13 complaints about Baked Alaska episode
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >