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I Want To Live: The Diary of a Young Girl in…

I Want To Live: The Diary of a Young Girl in Stalin's Russia

by Nina Lugovskaya

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1047116,035 (3.15)7
  1. 10
    The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia by Orlando Figes (meggyweg)
  2. 00
    Journey into the Whirlwind by Evgenia Ginzburg (meggyweg)
    meggyweg: Eugenia Ginzburg mentions Nina Lugovskaya in passing; they briefly shared a prison cell.
  3. 00
    The Diary of Nina Kosterina by Nina Kosterina (meggyweg)

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English (6)  Norwegian (1)  All (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
The editors did much to enhance this diary. The list of Nina's friends and family provided at the beginning of the book was quite useful. I liked that the editors put sections of the diary in boldface to designate which portions of the diary the secret police used against Nina and her family. I also enjoyed the italicized notes that placed Nina's entries within their historical context. Still, I think it's a mistake to tout Nina Lugovskaya a "Russian Anne Frank." ( )
  Tables | Feb 9, 2014 |
Nina grew up during a difficult in Russia. Stalin was ruler and her father was even exiled for parts of her childhood. Many people have compared her to Anne Frank--both kept diaries during times of turmoil and danger. What makes Nina's different is that hers was able to include school adventures, friend drama, and normal day-to-day activities. It adds another layer to the trouble going on around her. I think students will enjoy reading about another student who is going to school and dealing with siblings, while being surrounded by pure craziness. ( )
  Kathdavis54 | Sep 6, 2011 |
Synopsis: Tagged as the Soviet equivalent to Anne Frank's diary, this is the diary of Nina Lugovskaya, a young girl who kept a diary from 1932 through to 1937 when her diary was found by Stalin's secret police who ransacked Nina's home.
My Opinion: I thought the title was a bit ironic; throughout the majority of the book Nina is suffering from depression and has constant suicidal thoughts - even attempting it twice.
In general, the book is quite dull - a constant drone of boys, hating and skipping school, hating her life and the odd party or political event. Because of this, I did not particularly enjoy this book. However, the most interesting thing to me is the subtlety of the historical backdrop - from a brief view, Nina seems like the typical adolescent in modern times. However, the way she mentions hunger, an informer in her group of friends and, most shockingly, the abruptness of her diary being found and her family facing exile (all of these only occurring once or twice), shows that times were quite different. A dull, yet horrifying read. ( )
1 vote Moniica | Jun 15, 2009 |
This book is billed as the Soviet equivalent of Anne Frank's diary in that it is that of an ordinary teenage girl living in repressive political conditions, who later suffers arrest and incarceration, though in this case Nina survives her ordeal in the Gulag. However, there are crucial differences that make this a lesser book than its far more famous Dutch counterpart. One of the main ones is that, while Anne Frank lives a claustrophobic life in her attic room, Nina Lugovskaya is free in the sense that she can move around and goes to school, college and to teenage parties, with the result that much of her diary focuses on friends, boys, teenage angst and uncertainties, and in particular ceaseless and rather tiresome hatred of her own perceived physical and intellectual flaws (whereas Anne Frank comes across as a more engaging and outward-looking young woman). That said, Nina's occasional political insights and simple hatred of the Bolsheviks are daring for being recording on paper, even privately, in the Soviet Union of the 1930s, and it was the discovery of the diary during a raid on her house (her father was already a political prisoner) that led to Nina, her loyal Soviet mother and her vacuous and utterly uncritical older sisters all being arrested and sent to the Gulag in early 1937, the year of the climax of the purges. Even being widely read in Stalinism, I was shocked after reading through this at the fact that an 18 year old schoolgirl could be forced to confess to a plot to kill Stalin and sent to a harsh labour camp goldmine purely on the strength of her writings in a diary. ( )
1 vote john257hopper | Jun 5, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nina Lugovskayaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bromfield, AndrewTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0618605754, Hardcover)

Recently unearthed in the archives of Stalin’s secret police, the NKVD, Nina Lugovskaya’s diary offers rare insight into the life of a teenage girl in Stalin’s Russia—when fear of arrest was a fact of daily life. Like Anne Frank, thirteen-year-old Nina is conscious of the extraordinary dangers around her and her family, yet she is preoccupied by ordinary teenage concerns: boys, parties, her appearance, who she wants to be when she grows up. As Nina records her most personal emotions and observations, her reflections shape a diary that is as much a portrait of her intense inner world as it is the Soviet outer one.

Preserved here, these markings—the evidence used to convict Nina as a “counterrevolutionary”—offer today’s reader a fascinating perspective on the era in which she lived.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:57 -0400)

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"... offers rare insight into the life of a teenage girl in Stalin's Russia, where fear of arrest was a fact of daily life."--Inside flap of dust jacket.

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