I Want to Live: The Diary of a Young Girl in Stalin's Russia  -     By: Nina Lugovskaya
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I Want to Live: The Diary of a Young Girl in Stalin's Russia

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / 2007 / Hardcover

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Product Description

Nina Lugovskaya began writing this diary in 1932, when she was thirteen years old. She lived with her family in Moscow during the time of Stalin's Great Terror. Upon the discovery of her diary, Nina, along with her mother and two sisters, was sentenced to five years of hard labor in a prison camp and seven more in exile in Siberia. Recently discovered in the newly opened KGB archives, Nina's diary offers today's reader a fascinating perspective on the era in which she lived.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 267
Vendor: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: 2007
ISBN: 0618605754
ISBN-13: 9780618605750
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Recently unearthed in the archives of Stalin’s secret police, the NKVD, Nina Lugovskaya’s diary offers rare insight into the life of a teenage girl in Stalin’s Russia—when fear of arrest was a fact of daily life. Like Anne Frank, thirteen-year-old Nina is conscious of the extraordinary dangers around her and her family, yet she is preoccupied by ordinary teenage concerns: boys, parties, her appearance, who she wants to be when she grows up. As Nina records her most personal emotions and observations, her reflections shape a diary that is as much a portrait of her intense inner world as it is the Soviet outer one.

Preserved here, these markings—the evidence used to convict Nina as a “counterrevolutionary”—offer today’s reader a fascinating perspective on the era in which she lived.

Publisher's Weekly

In this revealing diary, 13-year-old Nina Lugovskaya gave a true account of her life during Stalin's Great Terror. Nina's diary begins on October 8, 1932 and continues as she records her observations about school, friends, crushes and her family life, along with angry commentary about Stalin's restrictive regime: "Today they herded us out to march around the streets, which made me absolutely furious.... Walking over the cold, gray ground in the damp, dull light of an autumn day... and cursing Soviet power to myself." Her family was subjected to constant raids by the NKVD (Stalin's secret police) because of her father's involvement in the Socialist Revolutionary Party. She was cruelly teased by classmates because of her lazy eye and her academic struggles made her depressed-suicide is a topic she revisits throughout her diary. Nina's final entry occurs on January 3, 1937; the next day her diary was confiscated during a raid by the NKVD. During intensive interrogation, Nina (falsely) confesses to a plot to assassinate Stalin and she, her mother and twin sisters are sentenced to five years of hard labor in Kolyma prison camp, where they miraculously survived; Nina herself worked as an artist and lived until the age of 74. Lugovskaya's diary, which was found in the NKVD archives, stands as a compelling historical artifact and Nina's story gives a moving-if relentlessly melancholy-personal account of life in Communist Russia. Ages 12-up. (June) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

A remarkable document, showing an intelligent teen's rage against oppressive politics, as well as universal coming-of-age concerns--including anxieties about looks, academic pressures, and hopeful yearnings coupled with suicidal lows. . . . This will provide crucial support for high-school, and even college-level, studies of Russian history. Using boldfaced type, the editors have preserved those passages marked as counterrevolutionary by the Soviet investigators who confiscated the diary; helpful appended material includes editor's notes, a thoughtful bibliography, and several photos and family letters.
Booklist, ALA

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