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The red daughter / John Burnham Schwartz.

By: Schwartz, John Burnham [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Corsair, an imprint of Little, Brown Book Group, 2019Copyright date: ©2019Description: 268 pages ; 24 cm.ISBN: 9781472155092 (paperback).Subject(s): Allilueva, Svetlana, 1926-2011 -- Fiction | Children of heads of state -- Soviet Union -- Fiction | Defectors -- United States -- FictionGenre/Form: Biographical fiction. | Historical fiction.DDC classification: 813/.54 Summary: In one of the most momentous events of the Cold War, Svetlana Alliluyeva, the only daughter of the Soviet despot Joseph Stalin, abruptly abandoned her life in Moscow in 1967, arriving in New York to throngs of reporters and a nation hungry to hear her story. By her side is Peter Horvath, a young lawyer sent by the CIA to smuggle Svetlana into America. She is a contradictory celebrity: charismatic and headstrong, lonely and haunted, excited and alienated by her adopted country's radically different society. Persuading herself that all she yearns for is a simple American life, she attempts to settle into a suburban existence in Princeton, New Jersey. But one day an invitation from the widow of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright arrives, and Svetlana impulsively joins her cultlike community at Taliesin West. When this dream ends in disillusionment, Svetlana reaches out to Peter, the one person who understands how the chains of her past still hold her prisoner. Their relationship changes and deepens, moving from America to England to the Soviet Union and back again, unfolding under the eyes of her CIA minders, and Svetlana's and Peter's private lives are no longer their own.
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item reserves
Default Keilor Library (DIY)
Fiction SCHW Issued 06/11/2019 IA2054130
Default Sunshine Library (DIY)
Fiction SCHW Available IA2054129
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In one of the most momentous events of the Cold War, Svetlana Alliluyeva, the only daughter of the Soviet despot Joseph Stalin, abruptly abandoned her life in Moscow in 1967, arriving in New York to throngs of reporters and a nation hungry to hear her story. By her side is Peter Horvath, a young lawyer sent by the CIA to smuggle Svetlana into America. She is a contradictory celebrity: charismatic and headstrong, lonely and haunted, excited and alienated by her adopted country's radically different society. Persuading herself that all she yearns for is a simple American life, she attempts to settle into a suburban existence in Princeton, New Jersey. But one day an invitation from the widow of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright arrives, and Svetlana impulsively joins her cultlike community at Taliesin West. When this dream ends in disillusionment, Svetlana reaches out to Peter, the one person who understands how the chains of her past still hold her prisoner. Their relationship changes and deepens, moving from America to England to the Soviet Union and back again, unfolding under the eyes of her CIA minders, and Svetlana's and Peter's private lives are no longer their own.

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

The Private Journals of Svetlana Alliluyeva 1967 23 April Locust Valley, New York 3:40 a.m. My father would have had me killed for what I've done. And then he never would have given me another thought. People believe that because my mother died how and when she did, and because my father became what he became, that he alone must be the mountain in my life--­the immovable object that I can neither climb nor see around. Why I have made this choice to abandon my two children and my home to wake in this foreign darkness, in this strange country, in a stranger's strange house. But people are wrong. They will always be wrong. My father is not the mountain. My father is the shadow on the mountain that keeps me from seeing the mountain. The mountain is my mother. Instead of actual memories I'm left only with impressions, stolen from photographs or the odd letter, of a strong dark-­haired young woman with a wide oval face, full mouth, and the saddest eyes I have ever seen. When she was angry or disappointed, it could be as if a translucent shutter had slid down over those eyes, a shutter not from outside but from within her; I remember feeling a terrible cold distance where I wished she had been. I remember her voice saying to my brother Vasily and me, The more time you have, the lazier you are. I remember her rapping my knuckles raw one day when she discovered that I'd cut up her new tablecloth with a pair of shears. I remember almost never being with her, yet sensing her firm committed presence everywhere I turned, an omnipresent shadow that I could see but not hold. I remember the scent of her French perfume--­which my father hated, since it was a luxury, and which she wore anyway, fiercely protective of this one personal indulgence--­still lingering on my pillow the mornings after those very rare nights when she would stay with me and stroke my head as I fell asleep. Nadezhda Alliluyeva met Josef Stalin when he was twenty-­five and she was a toddler of two; he was a family friend, so the story went, and saved little Nadya from drowning. She wouldn't see him again until she was sixteen; by then she was at least as devout a Communist as he was, as well as beautiful and fearless. And he was a hero to many. Yes, in those days of Civil War following the Bolshevik victory, when the fate of the Great Revolution was still uncertain, my father was in the throes of establishing himself as Lenin's Man of Steel. He asked Nadya to accompany him to Tsaritsyn (soon to be Stalingrad) as his personal secretary, an offer she accepted without hesitation, since she was probably already in love with him. Two years later, in the thick of the growing cult of violence of which my father was the unquestioned conductor, they were married. I was six months old when she first tried to leave him. This was in 1926, and her disillusionment over what he was then becoming must have been profound. She and my nurse packed up five-­year-­old Vasily and me and piled us all onto a train to Leningrad, where we moved in with my grandparents. We would start new lives, free of his tyranny! Yet several days later, when my father telephoned, beside himself, enraged, beseeching, threatening to come fetch us himself, my mother quickly relented, all the while insisting that we would return by ourselves, without his bloody help, so as to save the cost to the State. Until I was sixteen, I was led to believe that her sudden death on the night of 8 November, 1932, was caused by a ruptured appendix. I was not alone: the entire nation believed this. Then one day, ten years after the fact, I happened across an article in a British magazine that referred to my mother's death as a suicide. Joseph Stalin's second wife, I read, had shot herself in the head in her bedroom, where she had gone after my father publicly humiliated her at a state dinner. And this had always been known by certain people in my father's inner circle, it was reported, including my dear nurse, Alexandra Andreevna, who had raised me from the moment I was born. I went straight to my nurse and demanded that she tell me everything she knew about my mother's death. Weeping from shame and grief, Alexandra Andreevna did as I asked. And so I learned not only that the magazine article was true but that my mother had left behind a suicide note for my father in which she called him a monster and a murderer. Those had been her exact words. She had cursed him and declared that she would never forgive him for destroying the soul of the Party and, with it, her hope for a better world for her and her children. Then she had shot herself and left her dead body for him to find. I am playing outside by myself one morning when my nurse approaches, kisses my forehead, says, Come, we must put on different clothes now. And in these different clothes I am driven in a state car to an official building in Moscow, a large hall with a ceiling like a reaper's blade overhead, where many adults, some of them acquaintances and relatives I recognize, stand in hushed black poses. I am taken by the hand, led through ghoulish, whispering silhouettes to a long black box the length and width of a grown-­up person. The box has a carved lid on hinges, propped open. I see blood-­red silk, unfamiliar clothing, and my mother's ghost-­white face--­ I step back and begin to scream. Excerpted from The Red Daughter: A Novel by John Burnham Schwartz All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

In this gripping historical about the defection of Stalin's only daughter, Svetlana Alliluyeva, Schwartz (The Commoner) explores the wider political context that sharpens private tragedy. In 1967, the author's father, lawyer Alan U. Schwartz, accompanied Alliluyeva from Switzerland to the U.S., setting off a firestorm of media attention and controversy. Told via Svetlana's fictionalized journals, the story follows Svetlana, who, at age 41, abruptly abandons her homeland for the U.S., leaving her two children behind in hope that they can have a fresh start under a new identity. While attempting to hide her past from those she meets in the U.S., Svetlana also longs for connection. But after a short time working in Princeton, N.J., where she writes and gives lectures, she impulsively accepts an invitation to the cultlike fellowship run by Franklin Lloyd Wright's widow at Taliesin West in Arizona. While Alliluyeva gains lovers, friends, and has another child, she never fills the void created when she left Russsia and her family behind. With CIA minders never far, the fraught political relationship between Alliluyeva and the U.S. government provides another layer of intrigue. But this lovely novel's strength is the aching portrait of Svetlana: "not American, not Russian, neither this thing or that thing but always now between these things, which is the tragedy of my life." Filled with historical details that enliven and ground the fictionalized elements, Schwartz's elegant novel captures the emotion and strain of Alliluyeva's second life in the U.S.. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

As in The Commoner (2008), modeled on Japan's empress, Schwartz again demonstrates his adroitness at illustrating the troubled lives of high-profile twentieth-century women. His new subject is Svetlana Alliluyeva, Stalin's daughter, whose defection to the U.S. in 1967 drew international attention and furor. Schwartz has a personal connection, since his lawyer father brought Alliluyeva to America under CIA cover, but his personality and role have been fictionalized. In Schwartz's variation, in private journals left to her former lawyer, Peter Horvath, Svetlana details her itinerant life, attempts to become Americanized, and feels guilt over abandoning her adult children, whom she had hoped to liberate from her past. An unlikely correspondence leads her to an Arizona-based group of Frank Lloyd Wright acolytes whose repressive commune, ruled by Wright's widow, feels very Russian. Strong-willed and needy, Svetlana grows close to Peter, straining his relationship with his wife. What she doesn't reveal is also illuminating; we learn almost nothing of her earlier marriages. A perceptive exploration of identity, motherhood, and how one woman valiantly tried to shed the heavy mantle of her father's infamous legacy.--Sarah Johnson Copyright 2019 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

Fact and fiction mingle seamlessly in a story of the defection and lonely wanderings of Josef Stalin's only daughter.Our travels with Svetlana Alliluyeva (she took her mother's last name, then later reinvented herself as Lana Peters when she married for the second time) begin with her arrival in New York City after having defected from the Soviet Union in 1967. She is met by crowds of curious photographers and wary State Department officials. From here, real-life events blend with Schwartz's (Northwest Corner, 2011, etc.) imagining of her haunted inner life. Holding these two threads together is the character of Svetlana's attorney, Peter Horvath, based in part on the author's father, who was actually sent by the CIA to smuggle Alliluyeva into the United States. In the richly detailed pages of these fictional journals, Svetlana recalls her dark girlhood in Russia grieving her mother's suicide and fearing her father's brutal power. As a young woman, she sees lovers sent to work camps or exiled by her disapproving father and the Soviet government. Unable to be seen as an individual apart from her parentage and fearing the same fate for her two grown children, she defects to the U.S. to start over on her own terms, convincing herself it's the only way they can all break free. But things don't go according to plan, and Svetlana's life becomes a series of stranger-than-fiction twists and turns that take her all over the world in search of her elusive and authentic self.An insightful and compelling saga of a woman desperately trying to escape her infamous past. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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