Kudrova, I(rma) V.
KUDROVA, I(rma) V.
Female. Education: Graduated from Leningrad University.
Agent—c/o The Overlook Press, One Overlook Drive, Woodstock, NY 12498.
Writer. Former editor of Zvezda and Iskusstvo.
(Compiler with Lev Plotkin) Oktiabr' v sovetskoi poezii, Soviet Pisatel' (Leningrad, Soviet Union), 1967.
Gibel' Mariny Tsvetaevoi (biography), Nezavisimaia Gazeta (Moscow, Russia), 1995, translation by Mary Ann Szporluk published as The Death of a Poet: The Last Days of Marina Tsvetaeva, introduction by Ellendea Proffer, Overlook Press (Woodstock, NY), 2004.
Posle rossii (literary criticism), Rost (Moscow, Russia), 1997.
Zhizn' Mariny Tsvetaevoi do emigratsii: Dokumental'noe Povestvovanie, Izd-vo Zhurnala Zvezda (Saint Petersburg, Russia), 2002.
A graduate of Leningrad University and former editor of two Soviet journals, I. V. Kudrova is intimately familiar with the oppression and suffering of Soviet-era Russia. At the same time, as a leading expert on Marina Tsvetaeva, one of the twentieth century's greatest Russian poets, Kudrova has delved into a dark chapter of Russian history: the era of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and its impact on Russia's humblest citizens and most celebrated artists. WithThe Death of a Poet: The Last Days of Marina Tsvetaeva Kudrova provides a window into that world, presenting "a compelling account of individual anguish shrouded in national tragedy," according to Natalya Sukhonos in the New York Times Book Review.
By 1939 Tsvetaeva had earned international acclaim as a poet. She was commended as an equal by literary luminaries Boris Pasternak and Anna Akhmatova, and was able to establish a secure, if sometimes lonely, life as an emigré in Paris. Then her husband, Sergei Efron, was exposed as an agent for the NKVD—the predecessor of the Soviet State Security Committee, or KGB—and fled back to the USSR, where their daughter Alya already lived. Marina decided to follow him with their son, Mur, who longed to see his homeland. What seemed a natural decision turned tragic when Sergei and Alya were both arrested for anti-Soviet activities, and Marina was left with no money, struggling to provide for Mur, and terrified for her family. Drawing on newly released KGB records and a lifetime of study, Kudrova chronicles Tsvetaeva's virtual imprisonment, her flight to Moscow and then to Yelabuga in Tartarstan, and the despair that ultimately drove her to suicide. "Although her style is at times overly dramatic," noted Library Journal contributor Kim Harris, "the reader gets a clearer understanding of the poet's desperation than if the facts were merely flatly stated."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Norman, Peter, Russkie vstrechi Pitera Normana (interviews), Zhurnal Neva (Saint Petersburg, Russia), 1999.
American Scholar, spring, 2004, Elaine Feinstein, "Poem of the End," p. 154.
Booklist, February 15, 2004, Donna Seaman, review of The Death of a Poet: The Last Days of Marina Tsvetaeva, p. 1018.
Harper's, May, 2004, John Leonard, review of The Death of a Poet, p. 85.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2003, review of The Death of a Poet, p. 1438.
Library Journal, January, 2004, Kim Harris, review of The Death of a Poet, p. 110.
New York Times Book Review, March 14, 2004, Natalya Sukhonos, review of The Death of a Poet, p. 20.
Publishers Weekly, December 1, 2003, review of The Death of a Poet, p. 48.*