Between Two Millstones, Book 1: Sketches of Exile, 1974–1978
The millstones that this title refers to are the burdens of living between two worlds. This is one of the biographies of the great writer and Soviet critic Solzhenitsyn. The “weight” on him is his escape from the Soviet Union and the unwanted celebrity that is thrust upon him. In the Soviet Union, he spoke out against the government. As an exile, he no longer has a reason or motivation to speak out. He is more of his country than of the western world, and yet he is endlessly pursued by a ravenous press corps eager for the latest statement by a famous defector. He wants to make a home for his family, and he has an obligation to order his life and papers. He is a writer with a necessarily solitary occupation, yet he is put upon by outside forces that feel to him as inexorable as Soviet oppression. He does not yearn for a western life. He aches for freedoms in his country. He is a man between worlds, without a country. This will be enjoyed by serious readers of this author.
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