Friday, June 14, 2013


" amiable girl tested me for deafness, 'You are quite well, but with regard to your hearing you are a broken piano'...I looked up the recipe for soda bread and I did something I had not done in thirty-odd years. I made bread. Broken piano or not, I felt very alive, as the smell of baking bread filled the air. It was an old smell, the begetter of many a memory, and so on that day, in August, in my seventy-eighth year, I sat down to to begin the memoir which I swore I would never write." Edna O'Brien, COUNTRY GIRL

"On one side stood a group of young researchers such as Yuri Rumer and Boris Gessen who championed the physics of Einstein, Bohr, and Heisenberg; on the other, another group of teachers who denounced the theories of relativity and quantum mechanics as 'idealist' and incompatible with dialectical materialism, the 'scientific' foundation of Marxism-Leninism." JUST SEND ME WORD, by Orlando Figges, a copy of which I just received from Picador. This quote crystallises the climate in which Lev Mischenko and Svetlana Ivanova lived and loved. This book is based on 1, 500 letters they wrote to each other while he was the gulag.

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