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Fear and the Muse

Anna of All the Russias: A Life of Anna Akhmatova by Elaine Feinstein

Reviewed by Michael Scammell
The New Republic Online

"One day in the fall of 1939, a tall middle-aged woman dressed in black slowly shuffled forward in a long line of hundreds of other women outside the Kresty prison in Leningrad. It was freezing cold, and like the others she was holding a package of food for an imprisoned relative, in this case her only son. He had already served a term of hard labor on the White Sea Canal, and was now in another part of the gulag in the far north of Russia. Suddenly someone in the line called the tall woman by name, causing a blue-lipped younger woman behind her to start with surprise. 'Can you describe this?' " Read the entire The New Republic Online review.

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