Atlantic BooksAtlantic Books
Atlantic Books is an independent British publishing house, with its headquarters in the Ormond House in Bloomsbury, London Borough of Camden. It is perhaps ...
Why I joined the Yugoslav Communist Party
If anyone, Tom Courtenay may have been the main culprit. In all those long afternoons of the seventies which I spent sitting in matinee screenings at the National Museum of Cinematography, in the roomy basement of a building in Kosovo Street in Belgrade, emerging bleary-eyed into the blinding light of a Balkan summer, few films affected me as deeply as Dr Zhivago.
Granted, part of me knew even then that it was fundamentally a piece of sentimental trash, but the Great Russian Soul, as sieved through the quintessentially English melancholic view of history, was absolutely irresistible.
At the same time, throughout the country which I still called my homeland innocent people huddled in the dark, afraid of the morning. At the BBC, I always seemed much closer to their pain than anywhere else in London, so close in fact that I felt it all the time.
I was my own most faithful listener, a hostage to the stories of death about which I could do nothing but transmit.
What an achievement! A distinguished book written with grace and power – much more than a memoir.’ Dervla Murphy
Vesna Goldsworthy has worked in publishing, for the BBC World Service and as a university teacher. Her first book, Inventing Ruritania: The Imperialism of the Imagination, a study of the ‘Wild East’ of Europe in literature and film, was published to broad critical acclaim in 1998 and has since appeared in a number of translations.
She is Senior Lecturer in English at Kingston University, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at University College London, and Director of Kingston’s Centre for Suburban Studies. She lives in West London with her husband and young son.