Accidentally walked into a bookshop today, and walked out with Mary Shelley's Frank N Stein, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Virginia Woolf Between The Acts, Gigi and The Cat (Colette) and a copy of Irina Ratushinskaya's "Grey Is The Colour Of Hope".
Here is from Irina dust jacket (publishing endorsements).
'In March 1983, on her 29th birthday, the Soviet poet Irina Ratushinkaya received a seven year prison sentence for expressing "anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda" in her verse. This remarkable prose text is a memoir... etc etc'
The New York Times Book Review
'(Irina's) work is not to be treated as a pawn in a Cold War game. It is a story of fortitude, conviction and extraordinary mutual support'
Blake Morrision in The Observer
'To hide a poet behind bars is like breaking a watch, it is a falsification of time...Ratushinskaya is a remarkably genuine poet with faultless pitch... a full-fledged poet, natural, with a voice of her own, piercing, but devoid of hysteria'
'The tone and mood of the book are not grim but exuberant. Her book is a victory celebration'
Richard Heller in the Mail on Sunday
'Piercing beautiful, gripping with it's amazing stories of cruelty and survival... a strong distinctive voice in the swelling chorus of Soviet gulag literature... Ratushinkaya writes like an angel trapped in hell'
Goodness me. How approproate. And coincidental. Fancy something like that jumping of the bookshelf at me. It's amazing what people will read into odd things they stumble across. Unfortunately, bookshop didn't have any Townsend-Warner (totally unrelated self-indulgent reference).