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My Father's Letters Reviews

My Father's Letters by Georgia Thomson, MEMORIAL

My Father's Letters: Correspondence from the Soviet Gulag

Georgia Thomson, MEMORIAL

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Granta Books
Publisher: Granta Books
Publication date: 4 Mar 2021
ISBN: 9781783785285

My Father's Letters tells the stories of 16 men - mostly members of the intelligentsia, and loyal Soviet subjects - who were imprisoned in the Gulag camps, through the letters they sent back to their wives and children.

5 stars out of 5
Roger Lewis
20 Mar 2021

"gulag letters lay bare the dystopia of Stalin's Russia"

Evidence of great brutality is here in abundance. But what is heart-breaking and pitiful about these salvaged letters home is their very ordinariness – the tender love expressed for wives and children, the enquiries about their education and welfare, the little bits of advice about what to study, how to behave, well-meant homilies, as if everyone is trying to carry on participating in daily lives, giving voice to hope, when there was no hope.


4 stars out of 5
6 Mar 2021

"A collection of letters sent by victims of the soviet Gulag system to their families shows that love really can transcend anything"

My Father’s Letters is beautifully produced, with photographs of the men and their families, colour reproductions of the original correspondence and appendices giving details of individual prison camps, Soviet Judicial Bodies and Secret Police Agencies. There is also a section outlining Memorial’s mission. Georgia Thomson’s superb translation is supported by useful footnotes, with information about writers, places, politicians, Russian language and culture.