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Life and Fate featured on BBC R4

Fans of Russian authors

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Sep 12, 2011, 10:40am Top

Andrew Marr: An introduction to Vasily Grossman's Life and Fate

Kenneth Branagh and David Tennant star in an eight-hour dramatisation of Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman. Thirteen episodes will be broadcast from 18 to 25 September on Radio 4. This epic masterpiece, centred around the bloody battle of Stalingrad, charts the fate of both a nation and a family in the turmoil of war. Completed in 1960, the novel was deemed so dangerous by the KGB that the book itself was arrested. All the episodes are available to download.

Sep 12, 2011, 12:21pm Top

Oh, I'm thrilled about this! Life and Fate was one of my best reads of the last few years and is definitely on my all time best list. I don't know if we'll be able to get it in the US, but I'm sure it will eventually make its way to Netflix.

Sep 12, 2011, 12:28pm Top

Hello Rebecca! Yes, it's one of my top five favourite books of all time too, and I'm glad to see it celebrated in this way on public radio. I can usually download BBC radio podcasts in Venezuela so I suspect you might be able to as well.

I forgot to include information on today's "Start the Week" podcast on the same theme:-

Vasily Grossman: his life and legacy
Andrew Marr discusses the life and work of the writer Vasily Grossman in a special programme recorded at an event in Oxford to celebrate his greatest novel, Life and Fate. Grossman was a Ukrainian Jew who spent most of WWII reporting on the front line with a humanity and attention to detail that defied the Soviet censors. His masterpiece, Life and Fate, pitted communism against fascism but came down on the side of human kindness. Start the Week looks at the legacy of a writer who is largely ignored in his own country, and asks how Grossman's depiction of the war compares to the authorised version in Russia today. Andrew talks to the historian Antony Beevor, the writers Andrey Kurkov and Linda Grant.

Sep 12, 2011, 12:59pm Top

Didn't read carefully enough to see it was radio, not TV. Thus, no Netflix. Thanks for podcast links; will have to check that out.

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