I Want To Live

I Want To Live : The Diary of a Young Girl in Stalin's Russia

3.23 (196 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Does that boy like me? Why are my sisters so mean? Does anyone think I'm pretty? Will my father be arrested? These were the everyday concerns of thirteen-year-old Moscow schoolgirl Nina Lugovskaya, who began to write a diary in 1932. Her indignant outbursts against the brutal raids and purges of Stalin's terror appear alongside the more typical adolescent worries about girlfriends, boys, parties and homework. For five years Nina scribbled down her most intimate thoughts and dreams, including her ambition one day to become a writer. Then in 1937 the NKVD, Stalin's secret police, ransacked Nina's home and discovered her diary.Nina's criticism of the regime provided sufficient evidence for the charge of treason, and she, her mother and two sisters were sentenced to five years' hard labour in the Gulag, followed by seven years' exile in Siberia. Recently Nina's diary was discovered in the KGB archives, complete with the original passages underlined by the secret police. Like Anne Frank's diary, this journal poignantly reveals life at a time of political upheaval, betrayal and repression through the eyes of an innocent.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 126 x 196 x 28mm | 281.23g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552772909
  • 9780552772907
  • 779,157

About Nina Lugovskaya

Nina Lugovskaya was born in Moscow on 13 December 1918. She survived her long imprisonment, married, and became a painter. But she never wrote again. She died in 1993, just after the collapse of the Soviet Union.show more

Review quote

"Could do for the horrors of Stalinism what the diary of Anne Frank did for the Holocaust ... the tragedy of Nina Lugovskaya is that a lively, compellingly ordinary girl was made to suffer so grievously for being so human." Time magazine "Nina's diary is touching: it will strike both teenage and adult readers with a terrible pang of recognition ... Where she does touch on politics, her views are, it must be said, remarkably mature and intelligent ... she is a shrewd commentator." Charlotte Hobson, Daily Telegraph "An astonishingly well-written and perceptive chronicle." The Times "Carries poignant echoes of Anne Frank's diary. Both offer an innocent young girl's perspective on horrifying world events ... but the essential difference is that Nina's diary was the reason for her arrest." Mail on Sunday "Extraordinarily frank and eloquent diary [which] proved to be her undoing ... Modern readers will be struck not only by Nina's perceptiveness and intelligence, the elegance with which she could write when her adolescent gloom lifted, her confused feelings for her father, her interest in current events and the well-informed hostility she nurtured for the Bolseheviks - but also by the sheer recklessness of her act of self-expression." Times Literary Supplementshow more

Review Text

"Carries poignant echoes of Anne Frank's diary. Both offer an innocent young girl's perspective on horrifying world events . . . but the essential difference is that Nina's diary was the reason for her arrest."show more

Rating details

196 ratings
3.23 out of 5 stars
5 14% (27)
4 29% (57)
3 31% (60)
2 20% (39)
1 7% (13)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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