Join us for a conversation with Maxim D. Shrayer, who will discuss his memoir, Leaving Russia: A Jewish Story, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Awards. His remembrances are set against a backdrop of politics, travel, and ethnic conflict on the brink of the Soviet empire’s collapse. He will share the triumphs and humiliations of a Soviet childhood, and the dreams and fears of a Jewish family that never gave up its hopes for a better life. Growing up the son of Jewish intellectuals in Moscow, his parents applied for and were refused emigration when he was ten, thus becoming “refuseniks” for almost 9 years. Narrated in the tradition of Leo Tolstoy’s Childhood, Boyhood, and Youth, and Vladimir Nabokov’s Speak, Memory, Leaving Russia is a searing account of the KGB’s persecution of refuseniks, a poet’s rebellion against totalitarian culture, and Soviet fantasies of the West during the Cold War. Shrayer’s memoir is also a love story in which a young Jew’s love is unrequited, and his heart is forever broken by his homeland. Copies of Leaving Russia will be available for sale and signing.
Event Location: Brookline High School
115 Greenough St., Brookline, Massachusetts, 02445