Spotlight on Vasily Grossman

Russian novelist and celebrated war correspondent Vasily Grossman is the focus of a conference at Oxford as well as a radio dramatization of his epic novel Life and Fate on BBC Radio 4.

The conference is taking place on September 9 (which is today, so hurry) and includes discussions of Grossman’s work and life, its historical context, the translation as well as a panel with the people behind the radio dramatization.

The eight hour radio play is running on BBC from September 18 – 25 and stars Kenneth Branagh, David Tennant, Greta Scacchi, Harriet Walter, Kenneth Cranham and Janet Suzman. Radio 4 will also present a documentary called “The Life And Fate Of Vasily Grossman” along with three readings from his front-line journalism.

In spite of Grossman’s role in reporting on the front lines of the “Great Patriotic War” he then went through the era of Stalin’s murderous anti-Semitism as well as seeing his novels banned during the Khrushchev era. He died at 58 years old and the now famous novel had to be smuggled out of the Soviet Union on microfilm by Andrei Sakharov and Vladimir Voinovich among others before it was finally published in the West in the early 80s and in the Soviet Union in 1988.

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Categories: Books, Literary Events

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