Dear Bay Weekly:
Glad you put together the summer reading list! Some good selections in that July 1 issue.
My most recent book to be finished was Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel, which everyone but yours truly read eons ago. Particularly interesting because we detoured to Asheville, NC, and saw the scene — and heard how some townsfolk resented his romans-a-clef. I think of the recurrent question in our memoir-writing workshop, Re-Create Your Life: What will people say?
My current reading might be too devastating for the summer-reading audience: The Stalin Epigram, by Robert Littell, a fictionalized account of 1934 USSR, Stalin’s crushing of poets and writers such as Osip Mandelstam, Anna Akmatova, Boris Pasternak and countless other members of the intelligentsia who dared speak out and ended up in exile, gulags or graves — and those who only tattled on them to the KGB. It’s all stuff I have read in the original accounts, but am reliving now, and thinking of our own burgeoning community of poets, writers and artists, who can dare take risks with their art and their ideas versus the current repressions in the Federated Russian Republic.
Keep turning out those Bay Weeklys and book reviews year-round!
–Elisavietta Ritchie, Broomes Island