This is part of my participation in Paris in July 2021 - Hosted by Thyme for Tea
This year I have been focusing on Russian Émigrés in Paris
THE LAST AND THE FIRST by Nina Berberova - 1929- Translated from the Russian by Marian Schwartz 2021-published by Pushkin Press
Born July 26, 1901 - St Petersburg, Russia
She leaves Russian 1922 for Berlin. With her husband Vladislav Khodasevich, a well known poet
1924 - They move to Paris. He dies 1939
She became a contributor to Russian Émigré publications including many short stories
1950 - Moves to USA and becomes a citizen in 1959
She taught Russian at Yale then Princeton .she retired in 1971
Dies September 26, 1993 - Philadelphia,Pennsylvania, USA
Dies - September 26, 1993 - Philadelphia,Pennsylvania
“The first English translation of celebrated Russian writer Nina Berberova’s debut novel: an intense story of family conflict and the struggle over the future of émigré life
On a crisp September morning, trouble comes to the Gorbatovs’ farm. Having fled revolution and civil war in Russia, the family has worked tirelessly to establish themselves as crop farmers in Provence, their hopes of returning home a distant dream. While young Ilya Stepanovich is committed to this new way of life, his step-brother Vasya looks only to the past. With the arrival of a letter from Paris, a plot to lure Vasya back to Russia begins in earnest, and Ilya must set out for the capital to try to preserve his family’s fragile stability.
The first novel by the celebrated Russian writer Nina Berberova, The Last and the First is an elegant and devastating portrayal of the internal struggles of a generation of émigrés. Appearing for the first time in English in a stunning translation by the prize-winning Marian Schwartz, it shows Berberova in full command of her gifts as a writer of masterful poise and psychological insight.” From Pushkin press
I am very glad I had the opportunity to read this work. It is historically important. One of the conflicts among Émigrés was over whether they were better off in Russia. There is perpetual debate over the Russian character.