A beautiful, haunting account of a woman's intimate encounters with the people, places and politics of a city of ghosts and illusions in a rich yet crumbling culture.
'I know no one. I don't speak the language. The city has a reputation for being dangerous. I've become addicted to this scenario, to the thrill of travelling alone and watching how I deal with the terrors of a strange place. But this time it's different: Ada, a curator at the Russian Museum in St Petersburg, is meeting me. At least I hope to god she's meeting me.'
With its shimmering palaces and decaying mansions, enchanted forests and basements crammed full of Soviet art, St Petersburg is a city of ghosts and illusions where past and present, and reality and fiction are inextricably fused.
In this city blasted by history it is not the grand events but the intimate details that Victoria Hammond is drawn to: a walk through Dostoevsky's streets on a white night; the friendship between a mafia boss and a Siberian tiger; a swim in the warmth of a moonlit Russian lake; stories of struggling artists and dignified intellectuals eking out existences in single rooms.
Beautifully written, strange and evocative, Letters from St Petersburg is a compelling account of one woman's journey to the mysterious and surprising heart of behind Russia.
Victoria Hammond holds a Master of Arts from the University of Melbourne and has worked as a Director of the Shepparton Art Gallery and Guest Curator at the National Gallery of Victoria. She is an awarding winning author, having written several art catalogues and sponsored histories in addition to Charles Joseph LaTrobe, Landscapes and Sketches(Tarcoola Press) and Letters From St Petersburg (Allen + Unwin). She is now a full time writer.
Commended Australians' Studying Abroad Travel Writing Prize 2005 AU
Table Of Contents:
1. Hell and its prospects
2. The enchanted forest
3. Letter from St Petersburg
4. Man with a video camera
5. Museum of my dreams
6. Raskolnikov on a white night
7. Palace of illusions
9. New world
10 Forbidden city
11. Petrosavodsk post
12. Siberian wolf
Allen & Unwin
Allen & Unwin
Paperback - B format
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