Lara: The Untold Love Story and the Inspiration for Doctor Zhivago

By Anna Pasternak
Read by Antonia Beamish

11.83 Hours 01/24/2017 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9780062571618

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    ISBN: 9781470855369

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Boris Pasternak’s masterpiece, Doctor Zhivago, has sold in the millions, and yet the true story behind its two famed lovers has been lost to history. When Stalin came into power in 1924, the Communist government began persecuting dissident writers. Though Stalin spared the life of Boris Pasternak—whose novel-in-progress, Doctor Zhivago, was suspected of being anti-Soviet—he persecuted Boris’ mistress, typist, and literary muse, Olga Ivinksaya. Olga was twice sentenced to work in Siberian labor camps, where she was interrogated about the book Pasternak was writing, but she refused to betray the man she loved. When Olga was released from the gulags, she assumed that Boris would leave his wife for her but, trapped by his family’s expectations and his own weak will, he never did. Drawing on previously neglected family sources and original interviews, Boris’ great-niece, Anna Pasternak, explores this hidden act of moral compromise by her great-uncle and restores to history the passionate affair that inspired and animated Doctor Zhivago. Devastated that Olga suffered on his behalf and frustrated that he could not match her loyalty to him, Pasternak instead channeled his thwarted passion for Olga into the love story in his classic work. Filled with the rich detail of Boris Pasternak’s secret life, Lara unearths a moving love story of courage, loyalty, suffering, drama, and loss, and casts a new light on the legacy of Doctor Zhivago.

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Summary

Summary

Boris Pasternak’s masterpiece, Doctor Zhivago, has sold in the millions, and yet the true story behind its two famed lovers has been lost to history.

When Stalin came into power in 1924, the Communist government began persecuting dissident writers. Though Stalin spared the life of Boris Pasternak—whose novel-in-progress, Doctor Zhivago, was suspected of being anti-Soviet—he persecuted Boris’ mistress, typist, and literary muse, Olga Ivinksaya. Olga was twice sentenced to work in Siberian labor camps, where she was interrogated about the book Pasternak was writing, but she refused to betray the man she loved. When Olga was released from the gulags, she assumed that Boris would leave his wife for her but, trapped by his family’s expectations and his own weak will, he never did.

Drawing on previously neglected family sources and original interviews, Boris’ great-niece, Anna Pasternak, explores this hidden act of moral compromise by her great-uncle and restores to history the passionate affair that inspired and animated Doctor Zhivago. Devastated that Olga suffered on his behalf and frustrated that he could not match her loyalty to him, Pasternak instead channeled his thwarted passion for Olga into the love story in his classic work.

Filled with the rich detail of Boris Pasternak’s secret life, Lara unearths a moving love story of courage, loyalty, suffering, drama, and loss, and casts a new light on the legacy of Doctor Zhivago.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Narrator Antonia Beamish’s British accent and pleasant alto voice move steadily through the story…Beamish’s pace allows one to take in all the information and…keeps listeners engaged.” AudioFile
“Anna Pasternak does not spare an ounce of drama nor detail from the story of her great-uncle’s love affair…The result is a profoundly moving meditation on love, loyalty, and, ultimately, forgiveness.” Amanda Foreman, New York Times bestselling author
“An irresistible account of joy, suffering, and passion.” Financial Times (London)
“A sympathetic portrait of a woman who saw her lover in the same ‘heroic light’ as he saw himself.” Kirkus Reviews
“Anna details his two marriages, the Russian people’s love of Boris’ poetry, and the love affair that not only dominated his life but also allowed him, she posits, to write Doctor Zhivago.” Booklist
“This accessible history sketches the stories of a literary love affair and a great novel whose cultural and political impact may now seem almost unimaginable to a modern audience.” Publishers Weekly
“An enchanting love story, wonderfully told.” Sir Ronald Harwood, screenwriter of The Pianist

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Anna Pasternak

Anna Pasternak is an author, columnist, and journalist. She writes regularly for Sunday Times Style, Conde Nast Traveler, and Harper’s Bazaar, and she is the author of four previous books.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Biography & Autobiography
Runtime: 11.83
Audience: Adult
Language: English