Grey Is The Color of Hope

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9780679724476: Grey Is The Color of Hope

A Soviet poet now living in the U.S. recounts her arrest and imprisionment for "anti-Soviet" writings and her four years of sub-zero isolation cells and an inadequeate diet in Siberia

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Language Notes:

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Russian

Review:

In 1983 in the Soviet Union, twenty-eight-year-old poet and human rights activist Irina Ratushinskaya was sentenced to seven years of hard labor and five years of internal exile. Grey is the Color of Hope is her story of four years spent among a small group of female political prisoners, isolated from other "criminals" because they were considered "especially dangerous." From her first moment among these five women, Irina senses their commitment to ideals and each other. Irina is told she will be required to wear an identity tag. Refusing may cost Irina her only "long" meeting per year with her husband and her visits to the camp kiosk; it may even mean confinement in SHIZO - a place of deprivation and torture that can mean death. Refusing also means claiming herself as a human being: "Yes, we are behind barbed wire, they have stripped us of everything they could, they have torn us away from our friends and families, but unless we acknowledge this as their right, we remain free." Time and again, these women go on hunger strikes and survive the freezing temperatures of SHIZO to stake their claim to dignity and identity, for themselves and for each other. Their strength is awe-inspiring, their ingenuity and sense of humor beautiful. Do they confiscate your poetry? Write it on a bar of soap, memorize it, tap it through the pipes to the other prisoners in SHIZO. Above all, remember: "Back to freedom with a clear conscience." -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Erica Bauermeister

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Ratushinskaya, Irina
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