The Madonnas of Leningrad: A Novel

3.76 avg rating
( 13,677 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780060825300: The Madonnas of Leningrad: A Novel

One of the most talked about books of the year . . . Bit by bit, the ravages of age are eroding Marina's grip on the everyday. And while the elderly Russian woman cannot hold on to fresh memories—the details of her grown children's lives, the approaching wedding of her grandchild—her distant past is preserved: vivid images that rise unbidden of her youth in war-torn Leningrad.

In the fall of 1941, the German army approached the outskirts of Leningrad, signaling the beginning of what would become a long and torturous siege. During the ensuing months, the city's inhabitants would brave starvation and the bitter cold, all while fending off the constant German onslaught. Marina, then a tour guide at the Hermitage Museum, along with other staff members, was instructed to take down the museum's priceless masterpieces for safekeeping, yet leave the frames hanging empty on the walls—a symbol of the artworks' eventual return. To hold on to sanity when the Luftwaffe's bombs began to fall, she burned to memory, brushstroke by brushstroke, these exquisite artworks: the nude figures of women, the angels, the serene Madonnas that had so shortly before gazed down upon her. She used them to furnish a "memory palace," a personal Hermitage in her mind to which she retreated to escape terror, hunger, and encroaching death. A refuge that would stay buried deep within her, until she needed it once more. . . .

Seamlessly moving back and forth in time between the Soviet Union and contemporary America, The Madonnas of Leningrad is a searing portrait of war and remembrance, of the power of love, memory, and art to offer beauty, grace, and hope in the face of overwhelming despair. Gripping, touching, and heartbreaking, it marks the debut of Debra Dean, a bold new voice in American fiction.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Debra Dean worked as an actor in New York theater for nearly a decade before opting for the life of a writer and teacher. She and her husband now live in Miami, where she teaches at the University at Miami. She is at work on her second novel.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* Her granddaughter's wedding should be a time of happiness for Marina Buriakov. But the Russian emigre's descent into Alzheimer's has her and her family experiencing more anxiety than joy. As the details of her present-day life slip mysteriously away, Marina's recollections of her early years as a docent at the State Hermitage Museum become increasingly vivid. When Leningrad came under siege at the beginning of World War II, museum workers--whose families were provided shelter in the building's basement--stowed away countless treasures, leaving the painting's frames in place as a hopeful symbol of their ultimate return. Amid the chaos, Marina found solace in the creation of a "memory palace," in which she envisioned the brushstroke of every painting and each statue's line and curve. Gracefully shifting between the Soviet Union and the contemporary Pacific Northwest, first-time novelist Dean renders a poignant tale about the power of memory. Dean eloquently describes the works of Rembrandt, Rubens, and Raphael, but she is at her best illuminating aging Marina's precarious state of mind: "It is like disappearing for a few moments at a time, like a switch being turned off," she writes. "A short while later, the switch mysteriously flips again." Allison Block
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Dean, Debra
Published by William Morrow (2006)
ISBN 10: 0060825308 ISBN 13: 9780060825300
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Dionysos Books
(Arabi, LA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New item. May have light shelf wear. Bookseller Inventory # 161028176

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.27
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Debra Dean
ISBN 10: 0060825308 ISBN 13: 9780060825300
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Castle Rock
(Pittsford, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800608253001.0

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 8.62
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Dean, Debra
Published by William Morrow, New York (2006)
ISBN 10: 0060825308 ISBN 13: 9780060825300
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Owlsnest Books
(Ooltewah, TN, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow, New York, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Fine. First Edition - First Printing. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. First editon, first printing with a full number line starting with a 1. A very fine and unread copy, new, in a very fine dust jacket in a clear removable protective cover. Not inscribed, price clipped, remaindered or otherwise marked. Bookseller Inventory # 011402

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 9.60
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Debra Dean
Published by William Morrow (2006)
ISBN 10: 0060825308 ISBN 13: 9780060825300
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060825308

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 16.87
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Dean, Debra
Published by William Morrow & Company, New York, U.S.A. (2006)
ISBN 10: 0060825308 ISBN 13: 9780060825300
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller
rarefirsts
(Charlotte Hall, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow & Company, New York, U.S.A., 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. First Edition stated, with correct number line sequence, no writing, marks, underlining, or bookplates. No remainder marks. Spine is tight and crisp. Boards are flat and true and the corners are square. Dust jacket is not price-clipped. This collectible, " NEW" condition first edition/first printing copy is protected with a polyester archival dust jacket cover. Beautiful collectible copy. GIFT QUALITY. Bookseller Inventory # 002122

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 19.95
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 6.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Debra Dean
Published by William Morrow (2006)
ISBN 10: 0060825308 ISBN 13: 9780060825300
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060825308

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 28.27
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Dean, Debra
Published by William Morrow (2006)
ISBN 10: 0060825308 ISBN 13: 9780060825300
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060825308

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 32.85
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Dean, Debra
Published by William Morrow
ISBN 10: 0060825308 ISBN 13: 9780060825300
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description William Morrow. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060825308 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1020961

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 59.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds