Life of the Russian poet who withstood Stalinism and became an inspiration to millions
Anna Akhmatova is recognised as one of the greatest poets of Russian literature, an iconic figure who gave voice to the suffering of the Russian people during the brutal years of Stalin's Terror. Akhmatova began writing at a time when 'to think of a woman as a poet was absurd' but her genius soared above any such category. Hailed as a great beauty, she married three times yet her personal life was shot through with tragedy and her only son and third husband were held captive in the Gulags. Through illness, poverty and repression she maintained her resistance to the regime, with a dignity and composure that led her to be dubbed 'Anna of all the Russias'.
She does make Akhmatova seem alive. - INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY
the image she paints of her subject, the faded aristocrat scrabbling for food, warmth and cigarettes in post-revolution Russia is immensely powerful, and her admiration for the poet shines through. - SUNDAY TIMES
Elaine Feinstein, with much detail, tells the story again, offering her own translations of some of Akhmatova's verse. - SUNDAY TELEGRAPH