When Books Could Change the World: The Travail and Triumph of Doctor Zhivago

February 6th, 2014 by Steve Lehman · No Comments · Acquisition News

I’m excited to announce that HighBridge will produce the audio edition of The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book by Peter Finn & Petra Couvée, a story that is part Cold War spy thriller, part mesmerizing literary biography, part secret history of the blockbuster book that shook the world—and all true.  The Zhivago Affair is forthcoming from Pantheon this June; the audio edition, narrated by the great Simon Vance, will appear simultaneously. Finn, a national security correspondent for The Washington Post, and Couvée, a scholar, writer, and translator, take us inside the literary world of Stalinist Russia, where you could be a celebrated poet one day and disappear to the gulag the next, to bring to light the previously untold story of the 20th Century classic novel Doctor Zhivago: how it came to be written, why it was banned from publication in the Soviet Union, and how, after it was eventually smuggled out and published to wide acclaim throughout the world, it became a weapon in the ideological struggle between East and West. They render a vivid and intimate portrait of Boris Pasternak’s life and world, revealing what it cost him to write Zhivago and all that he risked in allowing it to leave the country. If you’re interested in literary history or Cold War history or Russian history or lives of the poets or just a ripping good tale with larger-than-life characters and cloak-and-dagger intrigue, this will be a must listen. Look for it this summer.

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