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Ludmilla Petrushevskaya
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Маленькая девочка из «Метрополя»

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  321 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
"Malen'kaya devochka iz "Metropolya"" - ne memuary i ne popytka posle dvadtsati let molchaniya dat' interv'yu. Eto prosto esse ili novelly, napisannye po raznym povodam. No tak poluchilos', chto istoriya zhizni avtora prorastaet skvoz' vse opisannye sobytiya. A povest', davshaya nazvanie sborniku, - eto to, s chego obychno nachinali klassiki. Povest' o detstve. Soderzhanie ...more
464 pages
Published 2006 by Amfora
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Diane S ☔
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lor
Left with her grandmother while her mother went to Moscow to finish her education, a very young Ludmilla, was sent to go through neighbors garbage. Potato peels meant food, cabbage leaves maybe a soup. She and other feral children would climb in the bread man's wagon while he
Was making a delivery and lick breadcrumbs from the wagon floor. She could not attend school as she had no shoes, and in summer she ran wild, sleeping where she could. She would not have her own bed, and this a cot, until s
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 stars. The Girl From the Metropol Hotel was not quite what I expected, but by the end of this short memoir I came to appreciate it for what it was. Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, who was born in 1947 in the Soviet Union, recounts her life from birth up to her early 20s. She does so in the form of vignettes, focusing on different times and events in her life. What she describes is a ridiculously challenging childhood. The reasons for her difficulties are in large part due to the Soviet regime, but ...more
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian-history
This is an account of Ludmilla Petrushevaskaya's personal life and experiences growing up in Stalin's Communist Russia. A slim volume of only 149 pages that is unsentimental, vivid and interesting and you cant but help admiring Ludmilla Petrushevaskaya and her feisty personality.

Born in 1938 in Moscow's Metropol Hotel, the city's most famed residential building(also called the house of Soviets because its rooms were occupied by the old Bolsheviks). Born into a family of Bolshevik intellectuals d
Ludmilla Petrushevskaya was born in Moscow in 1938. The Girl from the Metropol Hotel is a short memoir of the time after her twenty-seven-year-old mother finished university and returned to her grandparents' house after four years away to bring Ludmilla back to Moscow. Ludmilla was on the streets by then, having ‘escaped’ the poverty of her grandparents’ upbringing in Kuybyshev.

On the street in Kuybyshev, Petrushevskaya took cold-eyed account of what she could sell to earn enough money to eat.
Impressive. So much is said in such a short book. The writing is strong, full of emotion and there is not a single wasted word.

This book is an autobiography, presented in the form of snapshots drawing important experiences in the author's life. Each "snapshot" is a short chapter. The telling moves forward chronologically. What is told of are those experiences that shaped Ludmilla. A pet, a circus performance, summer camp, a doll, as well as abodes, education (when it finally occurred), absence
Terry Pearson
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was pleased to receive an ARC from Penguin Books in exchange for my honest review. So, without further ado...

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya is the New York Times Bestselling author of There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor's Baby. "One of Russia's Best living writers", she is the author of more than fifteen volumes of prose and is also a playwright. This is her memoir.

Ludmilla was born in 1938 inside the Metropol Hotel in Moscow, across the street from the Kremlin. It is the famed re
Andrea Wahle
This felt so very disjointed. The "chapters" felt like stories she wanted to tell about her life, but they didn't seem connected to each other at all - and I usually like that style. Perhaps talking about herself in the first person in some chapters and using third person in others contributed to the feeling that they had little to do with another.
I was hoping for more about life in the Metropol Hotel itself (after reading A Gentleman in Moscow), but I did learn a lot about life in Russia durin
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What was it like to grow up in Stalin's Russia if your family was singled out for trial and execution during the infamous purges? Ludmilla Petrushevskaya looks at her life in a series of short chapters and photographs from her very first memories to the beginning of her writing career.

The Girl from the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communist Russia is a collection of heart-wrenching and heart-warming stories of a childhood lived in poverty and persecution. The book consists of 32 short chapters,
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was fascinating. Petrushevskaya turned what could be considered by some to be a nightmare of a childhood into a triumph, letting it shape her amazingly creative storytelling. She is an inspiration.

Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This could have been a great book, but I found it went all over the place and did not flow smoothly. Don't know if this is an effect of the translation or if it is the author's style of writing. But the events and Russian history portrayed in this little memoir were fascinating. I would love to see each of them described in more detail, and in a better writing style.
Ludmilla Petrushevskaya is an award-winning writer in Russia, but this is the first piece of hers I've ever read. As a child of the 1980s, the USSR fascinated and frightened me both, and I've read lots of things pertaining to that time period and place. This was probably the most unique piece.

This isn't a true memoir; it only covers Petrushevskaya's childhood up to her early 20s, and it's really a collection of vignettes to illustrate the difficulty of her life under the Communist regime. Even t
Nancy Brisson
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Girl from the Metropol Hotel: Growing Up in Communal Russia by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya and translated by Anna Summers in 2017 caught my attention because I had read, not long ago, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, which was also set in post-revolutionary Russia in the Metropol Hotel, located in the heart of Moscow. While I enjoyed the novel by Towles, I felt that the life Alexander, once a member of the aristocracy, lived in the Metropol Hotel might be a somewhat romanticized version of ...more
Apr 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Be expected to go down some dark and dusty paths with Ludmilla in this personal retelling of growing up in poverty during the Soviet Union where one had to learn to fight or fly to survive. Anyone growing up in similar locations in Russia as Ludmilla can attest to many of her experiences of navigating long bread lines, shared commune flats, and communist ideology of the time. She adds more depth with her stories on navigating bullies, Russian courtyards, predators, abandonment, classic literatu ...more
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somewhat oddly written memoir (the author refers to herself alternately in the first and third persons in different sections of the book). A horrible, scathing childhood in the Soviet Union in the 1940s. The writing style is odd and not very idiomatic. Some of the stories of this gutsy girl are fabulous and frightening. A bad time to be an enemy of the state during Smiling Joe Stalin's purges. A pretty quick read. She's a creative rebel.
I really wanted to love this book, but I couldn't. I found it disjointed and a bit confusing at times. Also, I felt it ended too soon. I'd love to read about what happened in her life after she graduated, and her journey to becoming an author.
A prettily written but disjointed and uncentered little memoirella. (Is there a term for a short memoir, like novella? There is now). But I do love the phrase "original but arguable."
Apr 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ludmilla Petrushevskaya grew up in a family of Bolshevik intellectuals who were quickly reduced in the wake of the Russian Revolution to waiting in bread lines, losing their home and near starvation.
In Petrushevskaya's memoir, she recounts her childhood of extreme deprivation—of wandering the streets at 6 years old without any supervision, singing for alms, and living a truly feral life. Through this, not only did she remained undaunted but triumphed to fulfill her life's dream to become a writ
Mar 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really expected to like this book, but found got within the last twenty pages and just couldn't finish it. Perhaps something got lost in the translation, because I felt so detached from the author, the main character.
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite authors and I devoured these glimpses into her childhood--clear, unsentimental, powerful--under extremely difficult circumstances. It is not a continuous narrative, but fragments, like shards of broken glass that, as pieces fit together, offer a glimpse of the author's reflection. An amazing sense of humor runs through it all that is impressive and inspiring.
Feb 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was anticipating the release of this book but unfortunately it did not live up to my expectations. In retrospect, it was completely unfair to think that this would be able to compare with the fiction in A Gentleman in Moscow. Even in this disappointing read I completely fell in love with Ludmilla Petrushevskaya; I just wish she had given more of her story to me.
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy books like this that tell the real stories of what life was like during times of war. Ludmilla Petrushevskaya's story of her childhood in Russia during WWII was such a great read. She is a fascinating person and it's amazing what she went through. It was a great story of survival from how she got food to living in various places over the years. I'm so glad she wrote this book and I definitely recommend. I read an advanced copy of this book thanks to Penguin and Goodreads giveaway.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books-read
The title is a bit misleading. The amount of time the author spends living in the Metropol Hotel is small and insignificant compared to the rest of the places she lived in this books. That said, this is a memoir, not an autobiography, so there are lots of gaps and leaps in time. It's a fascinating look at what it was like to grow up in Russia during a time when few non-Russians had insight into the actually state of things. And the author must be a very special woman, to have survived and achiev ...more
Kathleen S
Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, a Russian writer, was born in Moscow 1938. She was born in the Metropol Hotel, where she then lived with her mother, grandmother, great grandfather and several relatives. They were Old Bolsheviks, but several family members fell out of favor with Stalin and disappeared. Other family members, including Petrushevskaya left Moscow. When Petrushevskaya was four her mother returned to Moscow and she did not see her mother for four years when her mother came for her.

During tho
Massimina Ferny
3.5 stars if that were possible.

Petrushevskaya is one of the best known Russian writers of modern times translated into English. Instead of her usual bestselling and quirky short stories, this is a memoir of her as a privileged (relatively) child of intelligentsia turned hungry and dirty and rebellious street urchin from the hardship in the former Soviet Union and the war, a must read that's pretty simple to understand.

I would say it's a must read because we're reaching the end of an era of this
Suzanne Skelly
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating biography about one of Russia's best living writers.

Ludmilla Petrushevskaya grew up watchful and hungry, an experience made more acute by the awareness that her family of Bolshevik intellectuals, now reduced to waiting in bread lines, once lived large across the street from the Kremlin in the opulent Metropol Hotel. As she unravels the threads of her itinerant upbringing- a feigned orphandom , of sleeping in freight cars, and beneath the dining room tables of communal apartments, o
Brittany Z
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. The author had an incredibly rough life where she was barefoot and homeless most of her childhood in Russia. As she tells these tales of going through trash for food and begging in the streets, it isn't as morose as you'd expect. She was a wild child that almost seemed to take to the lifestyle as she repeatedly calls herself Mowgli. She never shied away from adventure and didn't ever seem scared, aside from a couple sexual predatory situations that quick thinking got her out of. It's ...more
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Autobiographical story of the author's life from young childhood through young adulthood. She lived a remarkable life as a child in a formerly rich family that designated as an "enemy of the people" and relegated to a difficult life, even more difficult than normal for Soviet Russia. The book is filled with with stories of privations and indignities, but the main themes are vitality, intelligence, independence, spirit and triumph.

The book is written as a series of very short chapters, each givin
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The memoir of one of my favourite short story writers.
Written in snippets, the memoir much explains the short stories of her fame – the macabreness of it all.
This is a Soviet childhood, right after the war, and one of the propaganda of her youth – of surviving within an environment where she and her family were considered 'an enemy of the people'.
Yet despite the gruesomeness of playground taunts and attacks, and the viciousness of neighbours, the memoir remains humorous, written in Ludmilla's l
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A memoir by one of Russia's finest writers, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya, on her life growing as a Enemy of the people during WW2 and after in the Soviet Union. Her family, already on the outside, was spread across Russia, and an basically us watched Ludmilla ran wild. It shows the hardships, the roughness, the shortages, and the banal cruelty of Communist Russia, especially to a young girl. Their is mild humor, depth, beautiful's kinda extraordinary.
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Ludmilla Stefanovna Petrushevskaya (Russian: Людмила Стефановна Петрушевская) (born 26 May 1938) is a Russian writer, novelist and playwright.

Her works include the novels The Time Night (1992) and The Number One, both short-listed for the Russian Booker Prize, and Immortal Love, a collection of short stories and monologues. Since the late 1980s her plays, stories and novels have been published in
More about Ludmilla Petrushevskaya...

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