‘May you live in interesting times’ is purportedly an old Chinese curse.
These thirty-two stories written by migrants from the former USSR describes how they lived in very interesting, in fact, cataclysmic times: the coming of communism, the Stalinist purges, famine, World War II, communism’s eventual collapse and the chaos that followed.
Yet the human spirit prevailed. Privation made them tough and wary, but also people with large perceptions and large hearts, appreciative of the pleasures their lives afforded them: friendship, hospitality, intellectual discussion, art, music, literature and laughter. Overt, if not legally sanctioned discrimination, placed obstacles to good educational institutions and desirable jobs, yet many of them doggedly strove and attained both, contributing much to all facets of Soviet society. These stories of interesting times will inform, move and delight you. You will not forget them.