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Slavic Literature:Émigré/Dissident Writers From ZH BOOKS


Avgust Chetyrnadtsatogo (Uzel 1. 10-21 Avgusta St. St.)

By Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr

Paris: YMCA-Press, 1971. Hardcover. Near Fine. First Russian edition; 5 1/2" x 7 3/4"; pp. [8], 9-573 + 2 maps; original plain green cloth-over-boards; silvery title to spine; very minor wear (spine very slightly cocked forward, mostly very clean); near fine. 'August 1914' was the first book in the author's epic cycle 'The Red Wheel.' Solzhenitsyn was awarded The Nobel Price for Literature in 1970 and due to his controversial works - expelled from the Soviet Union in 1974. He began gathering materials for his current novel as early as the 1930s. In the aftermath of WWII, he was arrested for spreading derogatory comments about the conduct of the war and sentenced to a term in a labor camp. He eventually finished the manuscript in late 1970. The plot was centered on the defeat of Imperial Russia at the Battle of Tannenberg in East Prussia. Provenance: From the library of Simon Karlinsky - professor emeritus of Slavic languages and literature at UC Berkeley from 1964 to 1991 and one of the leading experts on homosexuality in pre-Soviet culture (his personal embossed stamp to half-title and title pages). This edition held mostly by institutions; extremely scarce in the trade - it has not come up for auction since 1975.


Probleski vo T'me [Signed/inscribed by author]

By Tolstaia, Aleksandra

Vashington: Literaturno-khudozhestvennyi Kruzhok v Kalifornii, 1965. Soft cover. Very Good. First edition; 6" x 8 1/4"; pp. [6], 5-242, [2]; original printed wraps; minor dust-dulling to covers; slight wear to head and tail of spine; very good or better. Signed/inscribed by Aleksandra L'vovna Tolstaia - the youngest daughter of Leo Tolstoy. While still young, she was imprisoned by the Bolsheviks in 1920. Later, in 1929, she left Russia and immigrated to the US where she established the Tolstoy Foundation (President Herbert Hoover was the first honorary chairman from 1939 to 1964). Under Aleksandra's leadership, the Foundation is known to have helped more than 500 000 people escape political persecution and resettle in the States, including notable names such as Vladimir Nabokov and Sergei Rachmaninoff.


Muzhe (Men)

By Markov, Georgi

Sofia: Durzhavno Voenno Izdatelstvo, 1962. Hardcover. Near Fine. First edition; 6" x 8"; pp. [6], 7-322, [2]; original dark orange boards with black and gilt decorations; pictorial DJ; full-page b & w illustrations; near fine with minor wear to corners; jacket in very good condition with small nicks along edges. In spite of being one of Bulgaria's most acclaimed and honored young authors of the 1960s, sadly, dissident writer Georgi Markov is best known in the West for his infamous murder by the Bulgarian Secret Police, with a poisonous pellet shot by an umbrella, in London in 1978. While still living and working in Bulgaria, Markov was a controversial figure - winning "The Annual Award of the Union of Bulgarian Writers" for his current work 'Men' and at the same time having most of his plays removed and banned from theater stages by the Communist censors. He was also famous for his lavish bohemian lifestyle, which was unknown to most Bulgarians at the time. A testament to his literary talent was the fact that Todor Zhivkov, then Communist President of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, repeatedly tried to draw him into serving the Communist regime with his writings. Georgi Markov left Bulgaria for Italy in 1969, initially planning to return, but later changing his mind after the Bulgarian Government refused to extend his passport. He moved to London, where he worked for BBC World Service, Deutsche Welle, and Radio Free Europe often criticizing the regime and the party leaders. In 1972, he was sentenced 'in absentia' to six years and six months in prison for his defection. His works were withdrawn from libraries, bookshops, and even private homes. It is now known that the Bulgarian Secret Police, assisted by the KGB, had attempted to kill him two times before succeeding on the third. His present novel tells the story of three men, just out of mandatory military service, and their lives. First editions of his writings are virtually impossible to find, with OCLC listing only one copy of the current one at Harvard University Library.