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The Desert of Milk and Honey

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About the author:
Yuri Kolker (b. 1946), poet, literary critic, and journalist, was born in Leningrad (St. Petersburg) in the former USSR. He graduated from the Leningrad Polytechnic and received his Ph.D. in biomathematics in 1978. Ever since his early childhood, he wrote poetry. His poems first appeared in print in the USSR in 1972, and since 1981 also in the West. In 1980-1984, Kolker fought for his right to emigrate. The KGB harassed him and his family. He lost his position as a scientist. The literary press stopped printing his work. Despite the pressure and difficult circumstances, Kolker continued to write; he took part in the Soviet underground samizdat publications; prepared a monumental two-volume annotated collection of Vladislav Khodasevich. This literary-critical work, devoted to a forbidden poet, circulated in the USSR underground; La Presse Libre instantly published the collection in Paris in 1983. The permission to leave the USSR finally arrived in 1984, and, until 1989, Kolker lived in Jerusalem, Israel, where he worked at the Hebrew University. In 1989, Kolker joined the BBC Russian Service in London where he anchored radio magazines Paradigm and Europe. In exile, he published copiously in nearly every country where a Russian community existed. He produced seven volumes of poetry, among them Let's Focus on what's beyond Doubt, St. Petersburg, 2006, Distant in Humanity, Moscow, 1990, Afterword, Jerusalem, 1985. His two collections of essays: Aides Chill, 2008, and Osama bin Velimir, 2006, as well as a book of memoirs A Song with Parentheses, 2008, appeared in print in St. Petersburg. Kolker's numerous poems and articles frequented pages of the most prestigious magazines of Russian Diaspora and post-Communist Russia. He has published nine books as editor and translator. In aesthetics, Kolker champions liberal traditionalism and repudiates post-modernism and avant-garde. He lives in London.

The Desert of Milk and Honey

Authored by Yuri Kolker
Illustrated by Elena Reznikov

The third book of memoirs of Yuri Kolker retraces the outset of his life in Israel: the joys and sorrows of a refugee who had fled the USSR in the Orwellian year of 1984; the collisions of everyday life and spiritual nature, love and friendship; and the cultural situation in the Russian-speaking Israel and the Russian West. The memoir highlights the unusual plight of a Russian poet submerged into non-Russian milieu of a lofty but alien idealism. The protagonist chooses both a pattern of behaviour which is both unexpected and unique. The book rests on Kolker's archive files including his correspondence with his fellow Russian writers in the Western Europe and the USA.

Publication Date:
1449574610 / 9781449574611
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
5.5" x 8.5"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Biography & Autobiography / Literary

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