The Death of a Poet is a harrowing account of how the forces of fate combined to destroy the life of one of twentieth-century Russian literature’s most talented and esteemed poets during the bloodiest period of Stalin’s regime. In 1937, at the height of her creative powers and living comfortably in exile in Paris, Marina Tsvetaeva made the fateful decision to follow her husband, Sergei Efron, back to Moscow. Soon after their reunion, both Alya, their daughter, and Efron were arrested for "anti-Soviet activity." Cast onto the street and living in fear that her own arrest was imminent, the poet who once stood at the pinnacle of Russian letters descended into a living hell, compounded by official persecution, the indifference of peers, and finally, the beginning of World War II and Nazi air raids over Moscow. Incorporating unprecedented access to KGB records, Irma Kudrova has recreated the final days of the poet, examining several theories of the events that culminated in Tsvetaeva’s suicide at the age of forty-nine. The Death of a Poet is both a tribute and indictment, and a moving chronicle of the struggle of a great mind to endure.
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