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A book to astonish readers: never before has Stalin's Gulag been the setting for a love affair. This powerful narrative by a distinguished historian will take its place t just in history but in literature. -- Robert K. Massie, author of Catherine the Great Author of Natasha's Dance and The Crimean War In 1946, after five years as a prisoner--first as a Soviet Union POW in Nazi concentration camps, then as a deportee (falsely accused of treason) in Russia's Arctic Gulag--twenty-nine-year-old Lev Mishchenko unexpectedly received a letter from Sveta, the sweetheart he had hardly dared hope was still alive. Amazingly, over the next eight years the lovers managed to exchange more than 1,500 messages, and even to smuggle Sveta herself into the camp for secret meetings. Their recently discovered correspondence is the only kwn real-time record of life in Stalin's Gulag, unmediated and uncensored.Orlando Figes draws on Lev and Sveta's letters as well as KGB archives and recent interviews to brilliantly reconstruct the broader world in which their story unfolded. With the powerful narrative drive of a vel, Just Send Me Word reveals a passion and endurance that triumphed over the tragic forces of history.
Orlando Figes is the author of The Crimean War, The Whisperers, Natasha's Dance, and A People's Tragedy, which have been translated into more than twenty languages. The recipient of the Wolfson History Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among others, Figes is a professor of history at Birkbeck College, University of London.